Mike Green was on the ice for another lengthy workout Tuesday, taking part in an optional skate for roughly 45 minutes at KCI as he continues taking steps toward a return to the lineup.
Green has appeared in only 10 games this season because of various injuries, but following his workout the defenseman was noticeably chipper.
“I feel good, I really do,” Green said. “Today was a great judging point for me for where I’m at. It’s just a matter of me getting into shape and getting myself firing, but today I have a smile on my face. I haven’t felt like this for a long time.”
Green underwent abdominal surgery back on Jan. 17 to repair a tear in his stomach lining. When the announcement was made that Green would go under the knife, the Capitals estimated it would take four to six weeks for him to return to game play and it appears as though that estimation is still on target.
General Manager George McPhee told colleague John Feinstein that he expects Green back in less than two weeks. “If he can get through practice on Wednesday and Thursday it’ll be no more than seven to 10 days and it could be this weekend [in Florida],” McPhee told Feinstein. “That’s a long shot, but I’m not ruling it out.”
Green said there hasn’t been a decision made as to whether he will make the upcoming road trip – a four-game swing over six days – with the team.
“I would say I want to but it’s not my decision,” Green said. “Right now, we’re doing step by step. I’ve got to get cleared…. I know I’ve been out for a long time but it’s important I come back when I’m ready. I definitely do not want to have another setback; that would kill me. We’re in a good place right now, we’ll see about the weekend.”
This surgery is a fairly common one for hockey players. Here’s what the defenseman had to say when asked what specifically had improved since the operation:
“It’s just my stride, I couldn’t stride before and my leg was dead -- that was the most frustrating part about it,” Green said. “Not only that but it was painful. Usually you can play with the pain, but when your leg’s dead and you don’t have the movement that you’re used to and the strength, it’s frustrating. But I have all of that right now and it feels good.”
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