Capitals' Lundqvist won't return this season due to heart inflammation

Henrik Lundqvist, pictured in action for the Rangers. (Frank Franklin II/AP Photo)

Veteran goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has suffered a setback in his recovery from off-season heart surgery after a checkup with doctors showed inflammation around the heart that will require a few months of rest.

The 39-year-old is three months removed from open-heart surgery and was working to make a return this season.

"I love it. I want to compete, and it's going to come down to testing and conversations with the doctors," Lundqvist said, per NHL.com's Tom Gulitti.

"It's coming up, so we're getting close to that point. And until then, I just keep grinding, and then we'll see what happens."

The future Hall of Famer and long-time Ranger had aortic valve, aortic root and ascending aortic replacement procedures done on Jan. 5. and has publicly chronicled his mind-blowingly quick return to training.

Lundqvist signed a one-year, $1.5-million deal with the Capitals in the off-season and was ready to move to Washington when he got the news about his condition.

"I'd been aware of a heart condition for 15 years that I had a leaky valve and at some point it needed to be fixed, but over the course of a few months things changed and the leak got worse and my aorta started to get too big and the pressure in the heart was too high," Lundqvist said in an interview with NHL Network's Kevin Weekes.

"But all along, I was like, 'This is going to work. We're going to make it work.' … And I get the call from one of the specialists that it was part of the process and it's like, 'I'm sorry, but your tests came back worse than we thought.'"

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