After skating with his teammates Friday, Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom told reporters in Washington he did not have a concussion and expects to be in the team's lineup when the 2012-13 NHL season begins.
Backstrom reportedly was injured Dec. 26 while playing in Russia during the work stoppage and had not skated since then. He met with Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, head of the University of Michigan's Neurosport program, earlier in the week, and Backstrom reported the diagnosis to be a sore neck.
"It was more the neck, the stiffness and all those kind of things," he said. "It was nothing serious. It feels good to be back here and practice on the ice again."
Backstrom added that after going through the informal workout with his teammates, he has no reason to doubt he'll be in the lineup for opening night.
"I feel good," Backstrom said. "I'm 100 percent. I know it's a lot of speculation about what's going on and stuff, but it's something I wanted to check out. So I went to Michigan and I got it checked out. No concussion, so we can all be calm."