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Posted at 03:04 PM ET, 03/23/2011

Capitals center Jason Arnott: Injury was ‘building up for awhile’

(Toni L. Sandys - WASHINGTON POST)
Jason Arnott skated for the third consecutive day at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Wednesday, wearing warmup gear and no pads as he did laps around the rink for about 15 minutes. The vet­eran center also met with reporters after finishing an off-ice workout to discuss his absence from the lineup for the first time since he missed the Capitals’ trip to Montreal back on March 15.

The Capitals have not disclosed the nature of Arnott’s injury, and the 36-year-old didn’t go into specifics, either, except to say that he has dealt with the injury that has currently sidelined him in the past.

Based on Arnott’s light skate prior to the team’s practice on Wednesday, it appears the injury that forced him out of the past four games is affecting his lower body. On Monday, sources said that Arnott was suffering from a groin injury. A closer look at his injury history on TSN shows that Arnott previously missed time in three seasons (2002, ‘03 and ‘04) with groin injuries and also suffered knee injuries in three seasons, 2001, ‘03 and most recently in 2006 when he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his knee.

“Feeling better. It’s getting better every day; hopefully, I’ll be back soon,” Arnott said of his recovery, declining to put a timetable on when he would be game-ready. “Not sure. Can’t say right now. It’s progressing really well, just taking it day by day and we’ll see how it goes.”

Asked if this current injury was something he’d experienced in the past, Arnott said: “Yeah. I think I’ve been through every injury possible, so yeah, I know what to expect and know what it takes to come back and hopefully it’ll be soon.”

Pressed on whether there was a specific indicent that led to the injury or if it was a nagging problem, he said: “It was building up for awhile,” adding that it wasn’t something that existed while he was in New Jersey this season but “since the trade deadline.”

Arnott sounded optimistic that he would be able to return with a few games still to play in the regular season so that he can get back in a rhythm with the Capitals. Coach Bruce Boudreau said he wouldn’t be surprised to see Arnott play next week.

The vet­eran center also said that he talked to Alex Ovechkin about taking this time to heal properly in advance of the playoffs, now that they’re both out of the lineup.

“We had a little bit of a talk about a few things and I just kind of voiced my opinion on what I thought,” Arnott said. “He’s got to do what he’s got to do for his body and for the team.”

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