The Washington Post

Nicklas Backstrom: ‘No concussion’

(Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

Nicklas Backstrom skated for the first time in more than two weeks Friday and afterward said he does not have a concussion, only a neck injury. The Capitals’ No. 1 center said he is healthy and will be ready for the start of the season.

“I’m 100 percent,” Backstrom said. “I know it’s a lot of speculations about what’s going on and stuff, but this is something I wanted to check out. So I went to Michigan, got it checked out.

“No concussion, so we can all be calm,” Backstrom said.

Backstrom, 25, visited neurologist Jeffrey Kutcher, director of the Michigan NeuroSport program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, on Wednesday and it was determined he had not suffered another concussion.

“It was more the neck,” Bakcstrom said. “Stiffness and all those kinds of things, nothing serious.”

Friday marked the first time Backstrom skated since falling awkwardly into the boards during a game with Dynamo Moscow in Russia on Dec. 26. Backstrom participated fully in all drills during the informal workout, showing no hesitation while on the ice.

Although he said he didn’t worry about the possibility of a concussion, Backstrom acknowledged the need to take extra precautions when a head injury is a possibility.

“I think everyone in the league is going to be more serious about those things,” Backstrom said. “It’s your head, you only have one head, you can’t really do anything about it. You’ve got to make sure it’s 100 percent so you can perform out there.”

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