Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson travels with team

Ottawa Senators coach Paul MacLean said star defenseman Erik

Karlsson would be in Washington on Thursday night, though a

decision hasn’t been made about putting him in the lineup.

The Norris Trophy winner last season as the NHL’s top

defenseman, Karlsson sustained a serious injury to his Achilles

tendon Feb. 13 when Pittsburgh’s Matt Cooke stepped on the back of

his leg. Karlsson was expected to miss the rest of the season

following surgery, but recently returned to practice and was back

with regular defense partner Marc Methot for Wednesday’s skate.

”I think he’s closer,” MacLean said when asked if Karlsson

would play Thursday night against the Capitals. ”But I don’t know

if – there’s always a chance, yes. But at this point he practiced

in a regular turn today so that’s another step in the process and

we’ll see where it goes tomorrow.”