The Washington Capitals won’t have Tom Wilson for the start of the 2022-23 season. The team announced today that Wilson underwent a successful surgical procedure to reconstruct the torn ACL of his left knee. The current recovery timeline is set at six to eight months.
That would essentially rule Wilson out for all of training camp and the first month of the season at least, with the very real possibility of him missing a much bigger chunk of games. The seriousness of the surgery will also immediately draw speculation about Wilson’s effectiveness going forward, something that won’t be known for quite some time.
A player that is known for his power, speed, and physicality, Wilson has developed into quite an offensive threat for the Capitals. Selected 16th overall after scoring just nine goals in his draft season for the Plymouth Whalers, the 28-year-old forward now has three seasons with at least 21 goals and set a new career high of 52 points in 78 games this year.
He even scored on one of his three shifts against the Florida Panthers before exiting game one with an injury. Amazingly, Wilson actually skated with the team several times as the series continued–on what is now confirmed to be a torn ACL–but did not re-enter the lineup.
This news will come as a brutal blow to the Capitals as they try to reload for another Stanley Cup run in 2022-23. The team is already dealing with some uncertainty for Nicklas Backstrom as he deals with a serious hip injury and has an aging core led by Alex Ovechkin (36) and T.J. Oshie (35). While the Washington roster is still a good one, red flags are starting to wave.
For Wilson in particular, any loss of that full throttle speed and power could be devastating to his game. Always among the league leaders in hits, he has missed quite a few games throughout his career (even outside of the suspensions) and will now face a lengthy rehab.