Joel Ward skates for first time since suffering knee contusion

(Brian Blanco/Associated Press)


Joel Ward did some light skating Friday morning in his first appearance on the ice since he suffered a left knee contusion earlier this month but he didn’t appear all that confident in his movements.

On the ice in a track suit, Ward gingerly skated a few laps around the rink and took shots on goaltender Braden Holtby.

Ward, 32, suffered the contusion in the third period of Washington’s 4-2 win over Tampa Bay on April 7 when he blocked a shot by defenseman Sami Salo. It’s uncertain when Ward will be ready to return.

On to a few other quick notes from practice:

>> Martin Erat is on the ice for a fourth consecutive day and is working as part of the second line in drills during practice.

Erat has missed three straight games since suffering a left leg injury when he was hit late into the boards by Florida’s Erik Gudbranson on April 6, but on Thursday Coach Adam Oates said it was possible the veteran winger would be ready to return to the lineup Saturday against Tampa Bay.

Aaron Volpatti is also taking rushes and drills as part of the second line, likely in case Erat isn’t ready to play against the Lightning.

>> Brooks Laich isn’t on the ice for practice and remains out indefinitely with a lower-body/groin injury. He’s missed four games since sustaining a new injury that is negatively affecting his groin against the New York Islanders on April 4.

>> Here’s what the lineup looked like in the Capitals’ first full practice since March 29.





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Katie Carrera · April 12, 2013

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