TJ Oshie missed 38 games last season due to lower body injury, upper body injury, COVID and non-COVID illness.
His start to the 2022-23 campaign is not faring much better. Oshie was sidelined for the first day of team training camp due to offseason surgery. The Caps held their annual fitness tests at the MedStar Capitals Iceplex.
“It was a basic procedure that I had to do,” Oshie said. “[The injury] happened in March. Something I played. Obtained [the surgery] two or three weeks after the end of the season. We are almost back to full (strength). I skipped the skate test today. I didn’t want to be in too much pain for training and playing real hockey. I’ll be on the ice tomorrow on a line ready to rock.
Oshie said he managed his injury over the summer and made sure not to re-aggravate it during the Capitals’ informal skates.
“I haven’t really skated too much ice or full strides and stuff until I got here,” Oshie said. “The last two weeks I’ve been skating pretty hard. I made my own skates extra away from what the other guys were doing for conditioning. It’s getting better and better. I’m ready to rock, excited.
When asked if he’d be up for opening night, Oshie replied, “I don’t think there’s any question.”
The basic surgery announcement came as a surprise as Oshie never revealed he suffered an injury there last season – only to his foot and back. On Breakdown Day in May, Oshie admitted to the press that “I have some body work to do before any training can begin.” When asked 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, had his season turned sour when he blocked a shot against the Detroit Red Wings on Oct. 27. Oshie broke his foot, putting him in a walking boot and on crutches for weeks.
Oshie derailed his season yet again when he tried to come back too soon after his injury. Oshie, who spent most of his childhood growing up in Washington state, tried to make it back in time for a Seattle Kraken game Nov. 21 at Climate Pledge Arena.
“I had a broken foot and was rushing to try and play in that game,” Oshie explained on The Rink Live podcast. “I probably had 50-70 people from my childhood there coming to the game. I was still in a walking boot, but I asked the sneakers to let me play the night before in San Jose. I so took my foot out of the walking boot, straight into my skate, and played the San Jose game and ended up getting so excited on the ice that I had 10 hits in the first 15 minutes of the game. Then my back started to come out, probably because I was walking in a boot and not really practicing and jumping straight into an NHL game. We flew to Seattle the next night we were playing them the next day and of course I couldn’t get up the next day, I had to crawl to our team meal and see our coach and say, ‘Hey, guys, I can’t physically walk.”
Oshie will have 20 days to fully heal before the new season kicks off.