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Capitals center Backstrom participating in drills @NHLdotcom

Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom took some line rushes with his teammates at practice Monday but said he has not yet been cleared for contact.

Backstrom, who is working his way back from offseason arthroscopic hip surgery and missed the Capitals' season-opening 5-3 win against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday, alternated with second-line forwards Marcus Johansson, Andre Burakovsky and Justin Williams, according to The Washington Post. He wore a regular red jersey in place of a light blue non-contract jersey in order to participate in more drills.

Backstrom is scheduled to meet with his surgeon later this week, a necessary step before he can receive full clearance.

"That's the plan, sometime this week," Backstrom told the Capitals website. "It's pretty much up to the doctor. We'll see what’s going on. We're going to have a discussion here and see what decision we make and we'll go from there. I think it's very important that we're all on the same page here and we don't want to rush into a decision here."

General manager Brian MacLellan estimated Backstrom would miss 4-5 games in an interview with the Post last week.

The Capitals continue a season-opening, four-game homestand by hosting the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday. They face the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday and the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday.

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