The Washington Capitals have been dealing with injuries all season long as it has hampered their success. Recently the Capitals’ injury woes have affected the blue line, as three players are working their way back to the starting lineup. Two players were banged up during the March 1st game against the Anaheim Ducks, while one has been out since December.
Martin Fehervary and Nick Jensen were the two defensemen injured seven days ago but seem to be on the mend. Both players were back skating with the team during today’s practice ahead of their game tomorrow. Fehervary, who suffered a lower-body injury, took the biggest step forward out of the three as the 23-year-old was upgraded to a contact jersey and was a full go at practice. The 32-year-old Jensen, on the other hand, was still wearing a non-contact jersey as he recovers from an upper-body injury. Both players have missed the last two games, but only one seems to be on pace to play tomorrow. With Fehervary upgrading to a full participant and Dylan McIlrath re-assigned to Hershey, it appears he will likely return for Thursday’s game against the New Jersey Devils.
The progress of Fehervary and Jensen wasn’t the only positive to come out of Wednesday’s practice, as John Carlson took some major strides toward his return as well. He took the ice with his teammates for the first time since taking a slapshot to the face back on December 23rd. While the 33-year-old veteran is still “a ways away” from returning to game action, he is progressing steadily.
Some other encouraging news regarding Carlson’s return came from general manager Brian MacLellan on Friday, as there is a “set timeframe” for his return, and the team can start to get serious at the end of the month. While the end of the month is three weeks away, the Capitals plan for him to get games in regardless of whether the team is in playoff contention.
“It’s going to be on him, how he’s progressing, how he feels, and we’ll kind of make a decision with him and our staff, the medical staff and trainers,” MacLellan said.
In the meantime, the Capitals will focus on staying in contention as they sit sixth in the Eastern Conference Wild Card race but are only four points behind the New York Islanders for the top spot. With 17 games remaining, the clock is ticking for them to make a push before they find themselves moving their focus to the 2023-24 season.