Andre Burakovsky’s recovery from injury reached a milestone this week: the Capitals winger had the cast removed from his right hand.

“Things are definitely moving in the right direction,” Burakovsky told CSN in his first public comments since getting hurt. “I’m on schedule. But [a return date] is a doctor’s decision; there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s going to be pretty soon, a couple of weeks.”

Burakovsky was injured while blocking a shot against Detroit on Feb. 9. He’s missed the last eight games.

The 22-year-old winger said he knew right away that he was injured badly.

“I was in a lot of pain,” Burakovsky said. “[Head Athletic Trainer] Greg Smith came over and he was like, ‘Okay, let me see your hand.’ Tom Wilson was sitting right next to me and he was like, ‘Oof. That’s not good at all.’”

He added: “You could see, if you were looking close, my whole knuckle was kinda destroyed, was gone sort of. So I had like four knuckles.”

Burakovsky said he opted against surgery since a procedure would not have significantly reduced his recovery time.

“It’s a part of the game,” he said. “Injuries are coming all the time. It just sucked it happened when I was on fire, sort of. I was feeling really good. I was playing good. Everything was good. And obviously, our line was doing really good.”


In the 12 games prior to the Detroit game, Burakovsky had registered six goals and seven assists.

If there’s a silver lining to the injury, it's that Burakovsky expects to have fresh legs when he returns to the lineup later this month.

“Absolutely,” he said. “I can’t wait to get back in the lineup and play games again. It’s really tough to sit out and watch the guys play. It’s not fun. I’m going to be ready to get back in and I’m going to be hungry.”