How long is John Carlson out? Injury details, return date, latest news on Capitals defenseman

The Capitals have been hit hard by injuries this year, but Washington could soon get a boost down the blue line.

Capitals defenseman John Carlson is set to return after nearly three months out with a head injury.

The 33-year-old hasn’t played in a few months and the Capitals have suffered as a result. Since Carlson’s injury, Washington has a record under.500 in that streak and is outside of a playoff berth with a few weeks left in the regular season.

“When things don’t go the way you expect them to, and especially when you’re not playing, it’s really difficult,” Carlson said recently of the missed time. “It’s emotionally hard to see how hard they’re fighting and how things are going.

“I don’t play and come in and tailor what I do every day and how I feel and everything that’s fine-tuned and theirs [day] is to show up and deal with whatever is going on. It’s difficult to be outside.”

If the Capitals want to make a push for the postseason, bringing the slick blue liner back to the back end would be a big step in that direction.

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The Sporting News has the latest news on Carlson’s injury and a possible return date.

What is John Carlson’s injury?

Carlson suffered a terrifying injury in a Dec. 23 match against the Jets. The Capitals defenseman took a slapshot from Winnipeg defenseman Brendan Dillon straight to the face, resulting in a bloody mess on the ice.

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He fell off the ice and received immediate medical attention. He was then transported to MedStar Washington Hospital Center before being discharged the next day.

As a result of the shot, Carlson suffered a fractured skull and a severed temporal artery. Despite numerous medical tests, he was not diagnosed with a concussion.

“That was all the blood and stuff, which was the scarier thing at the time — it still is, I think — but the scarier thing of all that happened,” Carlson recently said of the injury. “Just all the blood and everything. Whenever you see that you know this blood, you get a little tired of what’s happening and stuff. I’m sure I lost a bit that day. They say you get a lot of blood from the brain, so right now that’s a good thing for me.

When is John Carlson returning?

It’s been almost three months since Carlson played but he could soon return to the Washington line-up.

In February, Carlson was back skating. At first it was alone with other members of the Washington coaching staff.

He then joined his teammates during practice in March and wore a non-contact jersey for a few sessions.

As recently as March 20, Carlson was spotted in a regular full-contact sweater, boding well for a potential return.

This was the most missed period Carlson had in his long NHL career. According to Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette, Carlson is close to returning, but a date has not yet been set.

John Carlson 2022-23 Stats

Carlson was once again in the midst of an excellent season with the Capitals prior to his injury.

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The defender had 21 points, including 13 assists, in 30 games and ran 23:23 minutes a night. Only Rasmus Sandin, one of the newest capitals, has a higher rate. He’s played 24:56 a game since being acquired by Washington on deadline day.

games Goals assists Points +/-
30 8th 13 21 -1


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