Washington Capitals' Tom Wilson has ACL surgery, expected to miss 6-8 months

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Washington Capitals right winger Tom Wilson is expected to miss six to eight months after undergoing surgery to reconstruct the torn ACL in his left knee.

The team announced Wednesday that Wilson had a successful ACL replacement procedure a day earlier -- four weeks after injuring the knee while trying to avoid a hit in Washington's playoff opener against Florida.

The long rehabilitation time frame means Wilson is on track to miss at least the first month of the season, if not more.

"My summer sucks now,'' Wilson said during exit interviews March 15. "It's going to be a grind for me. I've got to start my recovery.''

With questions about veteran center Nicklas Backstrom's future because of a nagging hip injury, losing Wilson for potentially 20-plus games is a blow to the organization that hasn't advanced in the playoffs since winning the Stanley Cup in 2018.

Wilson set career highs with 24 goals, 28 assists and 52 points during the regular season. He also scored a power-play goal in 91 seconds of playoff action before being sidelined because of a fluke accident in which he approached but didn't hit Panthers defenseman Mackenzie Weegar near the boards.

"I need to get back to being the player that I am,'' Wilson said. "That will happen.''