Capitals star left wing Alex Ovechkin spoke with reporters Wednesday for the first time since the team announced on Monday that the captain would miss seven to 10 days with an injury, the nature of which was not disclosed.
Ovechkin skated briefly, in pads, before the team held an optional practice at 11 a.m. He said that he is feeling good, and when asked when he might be able to return, he replied, “I don’t know, maybe like five to seven days.”
The perrenial all-star wouldn’t give any hints about his injury — he told reporters to guess — but did say that this nagging ailment has bothered him for two months and that he and the Capitals’ brass began discussing him taking time off to recover and get healthy for the playoffs two weeks ago.
“I think right now we clinch playoff spot and right now all the organization focus is about playoffs,” Ovechkin said. “I think right now is a good time to you know, make some rest for my body. I feel something couple months, I have it and right now it’s a good time to recover it and be good in playoffs.
“It was our collective decision. We talk about probably two weeks before that and again it was pretty hard,” Ovechkin said, when asked who made the decision for him to sit out. “But when we win some games in a row and felt good, we just said: ‘OK, it’s time to do it right now.’”
Asked if this layoff was purely rest and recuperation or if it coincided with any type of minor surgery, Ovechkin avoided the question by joking that he’d had a lengthy procedure and that he had been “knocked out.”
Yesterday’s contest in Philadelphia was the first game Ovechkin has missed all season, and he stayed in Washington in order to work out. He admitted it was a little strange watching the Capitals play on television.
“I was kind of surprised last night to stay in D.C.,” Ovechkin said. “Last year when I have injury, I just travel with the team and watch the game upstairs and right now stay home and watch the games on TV and kind of strange.”
Coach Bruce Boudreau said Ovechkin’s progress was on track and that he wouldn’t be surprised to see him play by the end of next week.