Erik Karlsson injury: Senators defenseman could play Thursday

Ezra Shaw

The Senators defenseman and Norris winner could play on Thursday after taking part in a full practice on Wednesday.

Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson could return to the ice on Thursday against the Washington Capitals, according to Bruce Garrioch.

Karlsson was a full participant in practice on Wednesday and took part in all drills, according to Garrioch, as well as taking some extra skating time at the end.

The 2012 Norris Trophy winner has not played since Feb. 13, when his left Achilles tendon was severely cut by the skate of Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke. It was feared at the time that Karlsson would be out until next season at the earliest and that the injury was potentially career-threatening, yet the 22-year old out of Sweden returned to practice last week when it became clear he could be ready before the end of the season.

The Senators have three games remaining to earn one point and lock up a postseason spot, and will likely face the Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins or Montreal Canadiens in the first round.

After putting up 19 goals and 78 points in 81 games last season, Karlsson had six goals and 10 points in 14 games before his injury.

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