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Backstrom has “what you say — bruised neck”

Jan 2, 2013, 3:54 PM EDT

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 7: Nicklas Backstrom #19 of the Washington Capitals stretches during warm-ups prior to the start of the game against the New York Rangers in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 7, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images) Getty Images

If the NHL lockout ends soon, the Washington Capitals may have to start the season without one of their top players.

Nicklas Backstrom, who’s spending the lockout with Dynamo Moscow of the KHL, suffered a neck injury on Dec. 26 when he was hit from behind in a game against Slovan Bratislava.

Backstrom’s Swedish agent, Gunnar Svensson, sent an email to the blog, Russian Machine Never Break, expanding on his client’s health issues.

“Nicklas has what you say — bruised neck,” Svensson said. “Hard to say about the recovery time. Day to day, maybe week to week.”

Backstrom has 25 points in 19 games for Dynamo Moscow. His Caps teammate Alex Ovechkin leads the club with 38 points in 30 games.

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