Mike Green returns to Capitals’ lineup against Tampa Bay

Thirty-two days after he underwent surgery to repair what was described as a small tear in his stomach lining, defenseman Mike Green has been activated from the long-term injury list. Green, who last played on Jan. 7 in San Jose, took part in warmups and will face the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night.

For the past five days, Green has worked out on the ice with teammates as he neared a return to the lineup. Saturday morning he was one of four players to skate at the Tampa Times Forum and after the session, Green said he was starting to get his “feel back on the ice.”

“For me, at least, it’s about my feel on the ice,” Green said. “If I have that feeling where I feel like I can play and move in my hands and my shot, I’ll be effective. If not, then I won’t.”

Green will likely have a limited role this evening as the Capitals seek to manage his minutes and not rush him into a heavy workload. Much like when Green returned earlier in the season to face Calgary on Jan. 3, Washington plans to suit up seven defensemen in order to make it easier to limit Green’s time on ice.

The two-time Norris Trophy finalist has appeared in only 10 games this season because of multiple injuries, with the bulk of the layoff related to a lingering groin problem. Green opted to undergo surgery to repair the sports hernia and resolve the groin issues because the hope is it can solve the problem once and for all.

Testing that theory begins Saturday night, as the Capitals take on Tampa Bay in another important contest. Discuss the game and check out the Capitals’ full lineup for the game over at the open thread.

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