Capitals defenseman Dennis Wideman is doing some very light skating alone on the ice at KCI prior to the start of the morning skate.

Wideman is wearing warm-up gear and appears to be testing himself with some laps, both forward and backward, around the ice surface.

This is the first time Wideman has skated since he suffered a leg hematoma on Mar. 29 when he absorbed a knee-to-thigh hit from Carolina’s Tuomo Ruutu. Wideman spent at least 11 days in the hospital where he underwent surgery to drain the blood and relieve the pressure that had built up in his leg.

Earlier this week, Coach Bruce Boudreau estimated that Wideman might be able to return to the Capitals’ lineup in three weeks but he is not expected to appear in this Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the Rangers.

Update 11:03 a.m.

Wideman skated for about 15 minutes this morning and it’s definitely a good sign for the defenseman’s recovery. Friday morning, Boudreau said his timeframe of three weeks for Wideman’s return may have been a little off the mark.

“Really surprising sign, but a very good sign,” Boudreau said of Wideman being on the ice only four days since he was discharged from the hospital. “He skated for about 15 minutes and felt pretty good, so maybe my assessment of three weeks was a little premature.

“There was no damage to the muscle so that’s why he’s able to come out here and do what he’s doing,” Boudreau said, before being asked about his return again. “Sooner the later — who knows? Depending on what kind of shape he can get in to in a hurry and how long this series goes he might even be in this one.”