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Posted at 12:53 PM ET, 01/28/2010

Jose Theodore says he's ready to return (updated)

Jose Theodore says he could be ready to return tomorrow after suffering a hip flexor injury Tuesday night on Long Island.

Theodore practiced for about 40 minutes and told me afterward that he's recovering faster than expected.

He said he suffered the injury in the first period of the Caps' 7-2 win when he went down awkwardly to make a kick save. He attempted to play through it, but the hip stiffened up considerably between periods and got progressively worse, forcing him out of the game.

"I'm really happy with how today went," said Theodore, who has six straight wins. "I worked really hard. I'm going to talk to the medical staff and let them know how I feel and see what they think. I felt better quicker than I thought. Today was a good test. Hopefully I'll be able to back up tomorrow, or play."

Although the news is encouraging, the Caps might wait on sending Braden Holtby back to Hershey just in case Theodore's hip stiffens up overnight. If it doesn't, it sounds like Michal Neuvirth will get the start tomorrow against the Panthers and Theodore will be his backup.

Practice today was extremely optional with the Caps in the midst of another brutal stretch of games (four in six days, including a matinee against Tampa Bay on Sunday). So only Holtby, Quintin Laing, Theodore, Matt Bradley and Tyler Sloan skated this morning.

One other note: The team says they've assigned Michael Nylander to Finnish club Jokerit. The veteran had been with Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League.

Update:Holtby has been returned to Hershey, so that means Theodore is ready to return.

By  |  12:53 PM ET, 01/28/2010

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