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Posted at 01:19 PM ET, 01/11/2012

Hunter: Capitals ‘being cautious’ with Backstrom

(Nick Wass - AP)
Coach Dale Hunter did not provide much of an update on the status of Nicklas Backstrom (head) or Mike Green (groin muscle) after the morning skate. 

But given that neither participated, it's expected they won’t play against the Penguins tonight and it’s probably not a huge leap to assume they're in jeopardy of missing Friday’s game against Tampa Bay, too.

“We’re being cautious with him,” Hunter said of Backstrom, who has not been seen on the ice since Friday’s practice in San Jose. “He’s still not feeling one hundred percent, so we’re being careful.”

Hunter added that there’s no timetable on Backstrom’s return.

Backstrom was spotted sitting on the bench, wearing shorts and a hooded sweatshirt pulled over his head. He joked with trainers and watched some of the session but did not speak to reporters.

As for Green, Hunter said the defenseman needs to build up the strength in his leg before returning. Green left Saturday’s game in San Jose in the second period with tightness in troublesome groin muscle that forced him to miss 23 contests from Nov. 12 to Dec. 31.

“He needs more strength,” Hunter said. “Once he gets enough strength he’ll be good.”

Asked if the injury was long term, Hunter said it isn't.

“No,” he said. “It’s one of those things where it won’t be long term but it just takes time to build it up more.”

Green was spotted walking gingerly into the practice facility prior to the morning skate. He also did not speak to the media.

More from Post Sports:
Kundratek makes big leap up Caps’ depth chart
Backstrom placed on IR; Green doesn’t skate
Penguins talk about cooling Ovi-Sid rivalry
The heat’s turned down for Capitals-Penguins

By  |  01:19 PM ET, 01/11/2012

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