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Neck injury could shelve Backstrom for start of camp

Tuesday, 01.08.2013 / 3:59 PM / News

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Neck injury could shelve Backstrom for start of camp
Nicklas Backstrom's availability for the start of training camp with the Washington Capitals is in question as the star center suffered a neck injury while playing in Russia during the NHL lockout.

Nicklas Backstrom's availability for the start of training camp with the Washington Capitals is in question as the star center suffered a neck injury while playing in Russia during the NHL lockout.

According to the Washington Post, Backstrom was injured falling into the boards during a game Dec. 26. He was at the team's practice facility Tuesday, but watched teammates skate from a hallway.

Capitals general manager George McPhee could not give an update on Backstrom's health.

"There are some things we can talk about, some things we can't, and we can't talk about the fitness or health of any players until training camp," he told reporters.

Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin played with Backstrom in Russia and said his teammate was "a little dizzy."

Backstrom missed 40 games with a concussion last season after he was elbowed in the head by Rene Bourque, who was suspended five games for the incident.

"I think it's just a situation, you know, it's a contact game, it's a physical game," Ovechkin added. "Even in (the) KHL (Kontinental Hockey League) it's a very good level out there. Again, it happens. So nothing you can do."

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Just the feel for the direction they were headed and what they're trying to do, it just felt that this is a really good thing for this organization. They've got the pieces. We can put something together and go on a run or two and be together for a while, and I'm really excited about that opportunity. The team we have here has an opportunity to win, and that's the most attractive thing.

— Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen on why he decided to sign with the Capitals