After experiencing neck pains following a check while playing in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League on Dec. 26, Backstrom decided to proactively deal with the injury by visiting specialist Dr. Jeffrey Scott Kutcher in Michigan. With components of the lockout still officially in place, organizations are still not allowed to have direct contact with players, meaning the Capitals are not allowed to examine Backstrom.
Following his examination, Backstrom received the prognosis he was hoping to hear, via the Washington Times:
"No concussion, so we can all be calm."
"It was more the neck. The stiffness and all those kind of things. It was nothing serious. It feels good to be back here and practice on the ice again."
Backstrom skated on Friday for the first time since sustaining the injury.
Given the condensed nature of this year's schedule, depth is a dynamic that several teams and players have acknowledged as a key to success this season. Given Backstrom's statement that he is "100 percent," it appears he will be available for the start of the regular season.
Backstrom missed 40 games last season due to a concussion.