No player enjoyed waiting out the NHL lockout, but for Mike Green the delayed season offered plenty of time to fully recover from the sports hernia surgery that sidelined him much of last season.
“I think that [with] the season not starting on time, I’ve had a chance to kind of heal from my surgery.” Green said Saturday. I’ve been training hard, so I’m ready.”
Green, 27, underwent sports hernia surgery on last Jan. 17 after a lingering groin problem resulted in a tear in his stomach lining. He missed 50 games last season and though he returned to appear in 22 regular season contests and all of the Capitals’ 14 playoff games, Green never seemed to regain his true form.
That’s because while he was able to play, Green hadn’t completely recovered from the surgery. Green said he didn’t feel 100 percent healthy until about a month ago.
“No more pain; my mobility was good again,” Green said. “And I had that hop in my step that I didn’t have before.”
Green isn’t concerned about the demands a compressed, 48-game schedule will put on him. He’s confident that he’s healthy and that he’s returned from enough injuries to be mentally prepared for any adjustment.
Earlier this week, Green underwent another procedure. He had Lasik eye surgery after not being able to see clearly on the ice. “I had a blurry puck, so I needed to see it clearly.”
Now that he’s healthy, with improved vision as well, Green is anxious for the official start of training camp on Sunday and to begin working full time with the new coaching staff.
“Structure’s good. We’ve been skating here for the last two months at Kettler. There’s been about five of us and there’s not been much structure,” Green said. “So for us to get back on the ice and have the coaches guide us and get back in the flow of things, that’s exciting.”