TJ Oshie missed 38 games last season due to a lower-body injury, an upper-body injury, COVID, and a non-COVID illness.
His start of the 2022-23 campaign is not faring much better. Oshie was kept off the ice for the team’s first day of Training Camp due to offseason surgery. The Caps held their annual fitness tests at MedStar Capitals Iceplex.
“It was a core procedure I needed to have done,” Oshie said. “[The injury] happened in March. Something I played through. Goth [the surgery] done two or three weeks after the season ended. We’re almost back to full (strength). Skipped the skate test today. Didn’t want to get too late for the practices and playing the real hockey. I’ll be on the ice tomorrow on a line ready to rock.”
Oshie said that he managed his injury during the summer and made sure not to aggravate it during the Capitals’ informal skates.
“I didn’t really skate too much full ice or full strides and everything until I got here,” Oshie said. “The last two weeks I’ve been skating pretty hard. I’ve been doing my own extra skates away from what the other guys were doing for conditioning. It’s feeling better and better. I’m ready to rock, excited.”
When asked if he would be ready for Opening Night, Oshie replied, “I don’t think there’s any question.”
The core surgery announcement came as a surprise since Oshie never revealed he had suffered an injury there last season — only his foot and back. During Breakdown Day in May, Oshie admitted to the press that “I got some work to do on the body before any training can start.” When pressed if he needed surgery, he replied, “No, I don’t think so… I hope not.”
Oshie, a five-time 20-goal scorer for the Capitals, saw his season turn sour when he blocked a shot against the Detroit Red Wings on October 27. Oshie broke his foot, putting him in a walking boot and on crutches for weeks.
Oshie further derailed his season when he tried to come back too early from the injury. Oshie, who spent most of his childhood growing up in Washington state, tried to make it back in time for a November 21 Seattle Kraken game at Climate Pledge Arena.
“I had a broken foot and I was rushing myself back to try to play in that game,” Oshie explained to The Rink Live podcast. “I probably had 50-70 people there from my childhood there that were coming to the game. I was still in a walking boot, but I got the trainers to let me play the night before in San Jose. So I took my foot out of the walking boot, right in my skate, and played the San Jose game. I ended up being so excited on the ice that I had 10 hits in the first 15 minutes of the game. Then my back started going out probably from walking in a boot and not really training and jumping right into an NHL game. We flew to Seattle the next night, we were playing them the next day, and sure enough I couldn’t get out of bed the next day. I had to crawl down to our team meal and see our trainer and say, ‘Hey, guys, I can’t physically walk.’
Oshie will have 20 days to completely heal up before puck drop of the new season.