Tom Wilson underwent successful left knee surgery to repair a torn ACL, the Capitals announced Wednesday afternoon. He is expected to miss six-to-eight months, which would tentatively put a return anywhere from Thanksgiving to late January.
Wilson was injured in Game 1 of the team’s first-round series against the Florida Panthers after playing less than 100 seconds of game time. He scored a power play goal in the opening minutes, but left the game and never returned to the series despite repeated attempts to come back to game action.
He was injured after he skated hard into the corner boards in an attempt to hit Florida defenseman MacKenzie Weegar. Wilson tried his best to return to the series, and skated twice separate from the team after suffering the injury, but couldn't get back.
“I tried to avoid the hit a little bit,” Wilson said at the team’s breakdown day last week. “I was going in pretty fast and I tried to avoid it a little bit and then I put myself and probably jeopardized myself a little bit and probably hyperextended my leg in the boards. I kind of pivoted around a little bit to get on my left leg, but I don’t know exactly what happened. I tried it out and it was no good. The rehab had started and we did everything we could, but just didn’t get there.”
Wilson, 28, is coming off a career year in both goals (24) and points (28), as the physical and respected leader for the Capitals turned in what was likely his best season as a professional.
There are still injury concerns for the Capitals before the 2022-23 season commences, as center Nicklas Backstrom has a nagging left hip injury and left wing Carl Hagelin is working his way back from a grisly left eye injury. Backstrom is under contract for three more years at $9.2 million and Hagelin is under contract for one more season at $2.75 million.
Now, they'll have to live without Wilson for what could end up being more than half of the regular season.