Semyon Varlamov told CSN's Corey Masisak that it is a groin injury that has sidelined him for the past week and a half and was why the Capitals ultimately chose to put the goaltender on injured reserve for the start of the season.
Varlamov only rejoined his teammates in practice Tuesday after sitting out in the days since he was a late scratch for Washington's preseason game against Boston on Sept. 28. Coach Bruce Boudreau said he hopes that Varlamov will be able to participate in a full practice session on Tuesday and that he doesn't expect as long of a recovery process as the goaltender went through last season with groin and knee injuries.
"I'm discouraged for him because it's happened before and it's taken him a while to get ready," Boudreau said when asked if he was concerned about Varlamov's latest injury. "But I think he was in such better shape this year that...it's not going to take anywhere near as long and don't think it's bad as it was in previous years. It was just something that we wanted to make sure didn't get as bad as in previous years."
Since the start of training camp Boudreau has said he hopes to play both Varlamov and Michal Neuvirth regularly and give each ample time to prove themselves this season. But because of Varlamov's injury Neuvirth will be the go-to netminder, for opening weekend at least.
Neuvirth will start against Atlanta Friday and Boudreau wouldn't rule out the possibility of Neuvirth playing in each of these first three games in four days.
"I've done it a lot in my career," Neuvirth said about the chance he might play in several games in a short period of time. "But I'm just focusing on tomorrow night. I want to be sharp tomorrow and that's what I'm thinking right now is getting ready for Friday. I'm pretty excited. I can't wait for the game and I'm going to get a little nervous before the game, but I think I can handle the pressure."