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Posted at 01:39 PM ET, 01/02/2012

Mike Green says he’s ‘pretty close’ to returning to Capitals’ lineup

Mike Green has taken part in practice for six consecutive days and said Monday that he believes he is “pretty close” to returning to the Capitals’ lineup after missing 23 consecutive games with a strained right groin muscle.

The defenseman is antsy to return to the lineup and has repeatedly cited being restless as he must continue watching games rather than playing in them. Last week Green said he was targeting this week for his possible comeback and General Manager George McPhee echoed that timeline during an interview on 106.7 The Fan.

Would Green like to play Tuesday against Calgary?

“I would love to. I’ve got to get back in to games,” Green said, but acknowledged that the decision will not be his alone but made in conjunction with the team’s doctors and athletic trainers. “Got to make sure we do this right. If it means not playing tomorrow and taking another week then we’ll do it. As of right now I feel good and we’ll assess it today.”

Green hasn’t played since he suffered the groin strain in the first period of a Nov. 11 game in New Jersey. The defenseman has played just eight games this season because of the groin strain and a twisted right ankle.

While it’s uncertain whether Green will make his return on Tuesday, Coach Dale Hunter said that whenever the two-time Norris Trophy finalist is ready to return it will be like getting a late Christmas present.

“I feel good. It’s a matter of taking the right steps,” Green said. “We have done that, we’re not going to stray from that but I’ve got to get back in a game, I can’t stand watching no more games.”

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