Mike Green will not return tonight vs. Panthers

Mike Green will not play against the Panthers tonight in the Caps’ penultimate game of the regular season, but both Green and Coach Bruce Boudreau said this morning that the defensemen is healthy and will likely play Saturday in Florida.

Green hasn’t played since he suffered a concussion against the Rangers on Feb. 25. He has missed the Capitals’ last 18 games.

General Manager George McPhee had said Tuesday there was a chance Green would play Wednesday, but Boudreau and Green said this morning they are still being cautious.

“No [he won’t play tonight], but you know what, he’s ready to play and, I mean, he’s been symptom-free for three weeks plus,” Boudreau said. “It’s just we’re trying to be as cautious as we can with things, just as other people are with guys that they have as concussions and could probably play, but they want to make 100 percent sure. We feel he’ll be good to go on Saturday.”

Green said last Monday, March 28, that he was still experiencing symptoms, but when asked by a reporter today if Boudreau was correct in saying Green was symptom-free for at least three weeks, Green agreed.

“Yeah, I’ve been ready for a while,” Green said. “They’ve been cautious and getting ready to put me back in the lineup when they’re ready. It’s been up to them not me.”

Green participated in the Caps’ optional skate this morning, and said he felt “really good” and “100 percent ready to go.”

Green said he would like to play in a regular season game before the playoffs start, but it would not be a major issue for him if he didn’t.

“It’d be nice just to get back in the game and get a feel of things,” Green said. “It’s different, obviously, than practicing. But I’m in shape, ready to go, so expect me to play.”

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