Nicklas Backstrom is recovering from offseason hip surgery and isn't sure if he'll be ready to play for the Washington Capitals in their season opener Oct. 10 against the New Jersey Devils at Verizon Center.
Backstrom skated with several teammates during non-contact drills Thursday. He began skating last month and rehabbing while home in Sweden.
"It's obviously not fun to not know, but on the other hand, I'm not in a rush," Backstrom told the Washington Post. "I'm going to be back to 100 percent before I start playing. I'm not going to play on 90 percent. We'll see how it goes. We don't know yet."
Backstrom, 27, played in 82 games last season, leading the NHL with 60 assists and scoring 78 points. He had three goals and eight points in 14 Stanley Cup Playoff games, and has played in 82 games in five of seven full NHL seasons.
"I'm happy I can skate right now and happy to be back, but it's a process and it's really hard to tell, the timeline around the hip," he said. "We'll see. We'll take it day by day.
"We'll evaluate with the coach, training staff, the doctor, everything. We haven't really talked about that yet, but we will. Don't know yet for sure, but it's a good sign that I'm skating at least."