Tom Wilson had surgery on fractured fibula, return expected during training camp

(Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

(Updated at 1:30 p.m. after Coach Barry Trotz addressed the media. The post below is the latest version.)

Forward Tom Wilson underwent surgery to repair a fractured left fibula on Tuesday and is not expected to return to the ice until after training camp opens this September.

“Routine break,” his agent Mark Guy said in an email. “Nothing special.”

According to a Capitals spokesman, doctors determined the expected timetable for Wilson’s recovery after evaluating him in Toronto, which included X-rays and MRIs on the injured ankle. No clarification was given on how Wilson actually injured it, other than saying it happened in a “fall.” The fibula is the smaller of two leg bones — the tibia is the bigger — that runs from the knee to the ankle joint. The Capitals initially disclosed Wilson’s injury as an ankle issue.

“Tom is recovering very well and all indications are that he will be on the ice at some point during camp,” Guy said.

On Monday, Coach Barry Trotz said he was planning for Wilson to be available during training camp, if not at the start of it. Basically, this latest development delayed his return by, at most, a week or two. Wilson appeared in all 82 games with Washington last season as a rookie, but logged sparse ice time, mostly as a fourth-line bruiser.

“Unfortunately there’s injuries,” Trotz said Wednesday after the third day of Capitals developmental camp, adding that he hadn’t spoken to Wilson since the surgery but would soon reach out. “Certain guys around the league. That’s just part of sometimes training, part of being human on this planet Earth that you’re going to get hurt. It’s unfortunate. I was really excited about Tom having a really good summer then coming into camp. But it’s a setback. He’s young. He’ll be, I’m sure, pushing to be ready for the start of training camp. If he comes in late, then he’ll have some catching up to do.”

Trotz also expects defenseman Dmitry Orlov to return from left wrist surgery “right around training camp or just right into it.” Orlov suffered the injury during the IIHF World Championships last month with Russia and underwent surgery on May 22 to repair the broken bone. He was scheduled to return to the United States on Tuesday with plans to have the cast removed on Wednesday. The timetable for his return partially hinges on the wrist’s ability to absorb contact once it fully heals, though Orlov can soon resume off-ice workouts once the cast is gone.

“Usually what I find, and just out of doing this for 17 years, doctors have a time frame and they’re very conservative time frames, but realistically, probably 90 percent of the time, the time frame is shortened,” Trotz said, when asked about Orlov. “Their time frames are for us mortals who aren’t athletes. These guys train, they get the best, their bodies are machines. They heal quicker. They’ve got more resources to do that, from trainers to rehab to all that. They seem to recover a lot quicker than the timeframe. But I understand we have the timeframe and let’s be on the conservative side.”

Alex Prewitt covers the Washington Capitals. Follow him on Twitter @alex_prewitt or email him at



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Alex Prewitt · July 9, 2014

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