“I don’t know when I will be able to play again,” Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom told a Swedish news outlet, “but I hope I will be ready for the playoffs.” (Jonathan Newton/WASHINGTON POST)

Backstrom suffered a concussion on Jan. 3 when he was elbowed in the head by then-Calgary forward Rene Bourque and has not played since, missing 15 games and counting.

The 24-year-old’s comments to Gefle Dagblad, which was translated by our friends over at Japers’ Rink, do not offer much reason for optimism as the Capitals continue to wait for his recovery.

“I don’t know when I will be able to play again,” Backstrom said, “but I hope I will be ready for the playoffs.”

While Backstrom took part in two practices in the three days immediately after he was elbowed to the head, but then suffered a setback that has kept him off the ice for all but those few minutes ever since.

On Sunday, Backstrom hosted a team party for the Super Bowl and attended the Capitals’ 4-1 loss to Boston, which is believed to be the first time he came to a home game since suffering the concussion.

It’s been difficult to be away from the game for Backstrom, who was considered one of the most durable players on Washington’s roster prior to this injury, having missed only five games in his career before the concussion.

“It’s tough, for sure,” Backstrom said. “I don’t do much, basically I have spent much of my time on the couch. Napping and resting. Sometimes I’ve been at the practice rink, but I try to stay away from it as much as possible. It’s so frustrating for me to be there right now.”

Check out more of the translation over at Japers’ Rink.