Wideman speeds up recovery

MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:43 PM ET

WASHINGTON -- Bruce Boudreau is far better at diagnosing what ails his Washington Capitals on the ice than off it.

Earlier this week, the Caps coach said the best-case scenario would see injured defenceman Dennis Wideman returning in early May.

But Wideman, who was injured March 29, has raised eyebrows with a rapid recovery from a hematoma in his right leg and (muscle) compartment syndrome. He went for a skate Friday, just four days after being released from hospital.

Now, there seems to be a chance he might make an appearance in the Caps' first-round matchup against the New York Rangers in the event the series goes six or seven game.

"It's a really surprising sign but a very good sign," Boudreau said after watching Wideman glide around the ice. "He skated for about 15 minutes and felt pretty good, so maybe my assessment of three weeks was a little premature.

"There was no damage to the muscle and that's why he's able to be out here doing what he's doing. That's a really good sign -- and it shows how tough he is."

Boudreau was asked what Wideman's revised timetable might be.

"Sooner than later -- who knows?" he said. "Depending on what kind of shape he can get into in a hurry and how long this series goes, it might even be in this round."


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