Brooks Laich ‘encouraged’ by recovery process

(Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post) (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Brooks Laich skated with teammates for a second consecutive day Thursday and continues to make strides in his recovery process. While the 29-year-old forward remains sidelined indefinitely with no timetable to return, he is encouraged by his progress thus far.

“Felt really good, certainly better than yesterday – more power, more explosion, more range of motion, functionality all of that,” Laich said after what was a fifth straight day of skating.

“I’ve still got a little ways to go but I’m really encouraged over what I went through yesterday and what I went through today,” Laich said. “I understand I’m probably not going to make that big of a jump every day, but certainly I’m leaving here today pretty happy.”

Laich hasn’t played since April 4 against the New York Islanders when he aggravated a groin injury.

A team source with direct knowledge of Laich’s health and recovery process told the Washington Post that the forward underwent sports hernia surgery within days of re-injuring his groin. On Thursday, Laich clarified that he did not have sports hernia surgery but a minor groin procedure in early April. Laich declined to discuss further specifics about his surgery.

Laich stressed that he won’t attempt to return to the lineup until he and the Capitals’ medical staff believe he “can contribute and compete and not be a liability.”  And there’s still work to be done in his rehabilitation.

“Some conditioning I think, get some more touches with the puck and get more up to full practice speed and be able to adjust to game speed. Sometimes I think I’m superman a little bit but I need a little bit of work still,” Laich said. “The conditioning was tough off the ice. You can ride a bike and you can run as much as you want, but it’s not the same as stopping and starting and getting hit by 200-pound men and that sort of stuff.”

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Katie Carrera · May 9, 2013