Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson underwent surgery to repair an ACL tear in his left knee Tuesday, the team announced, a procedure that is expected to sideline him for the start of the 2022-23 season.
Wilson’s recovery time is six to eight months. The earliest he would return is late November.
The 28-year-old was hurt early in Game 1 after he took the worst of a hit he tried to throw on Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar along the boards. Wilson left the game and didn’t return.
“It was kind of a weird, kind of freak thing,” Wilson said in mid-May after Washington was eliminated from the playoffs. “I went into the hit and tweaked my knee. Everything you guys heard was honest. I was doing everything I could to try to get back. It was just one of those things where I wasn’t able to.”
The Capitals listed Wilson as “day-to-day” until the season’s end. Wilson skated twice on his own, trying to see whether he could play with a torn ACL, but ultimately could not.
“I was trying to be the unique situation or the odd person that can do it,” Wilson said. “You get a brace, and you get out there, and there’s a chance. So I was trying everything I could. I just wasn’t able to do it.”
Wilson is coming off his best offensive year, with career highs of 24 goals and 28 assists. He also made his first All-Star Game appearance.
Wilson’s surgery was the only procedure the Capitals announced Wednesday. There is still a possibility that Nicklas Backstrom, who dealt with a nagging hip injury all season, will have offseason surgery.
The veteran center needed hip surgery in 2015 but the issue flared up at the end of the 2020-21 season. He spent last summer rehabbing and missed the first two months of this season. Backstrom, 34, said in mid-May that his hip will “never be 100 percent” again.
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