HOCKEY

Caps' Clark Says He'll Be Ready for Training Camp

A groin injury limited Chris Clark to five goals in 18 games last season, but says it may have refreshed him.
A groin injury limited Chris Clark to five goals in 18 games last season, but says it may have refreshed him. (By Len Redkoles -- Getty Images)
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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Washington Capitals captain Chris Clark said he expects to participate fully when training camp begins next month after missing almost all of last season with a groin tendon injury.

Clark said he's encouraged by his progress in recent weeks, which he has spent skating with Calgary Flames center Craig Conroy and a handful of college players near his home in Upstate New York.

"The last couple of weeks I've been skating pretty hard," Clark said. "I've been doing everything, other than contact and real game situations. I've been skating, passing and shooting."

Clark has also been racking up frequent flyer miles this summer while traveling to visit Rick Celebrini, a Vancouver-based physiologist who helped former Capitals center Brian Sutherby recover from a similar injury. Clark said he plans to visit Celebrini for a sixth and final time this week.

"I've had zero setbacks this time," said Clark, who was limited to five goals in 18 games last season, one year after netting a career-high 30. "I'm a lot more optimistic than I had been."

Clark strained his left adductor tendon when his skate caught a rut in the ice during a game at Verizon Center last Nov. 28. At first, the rugged right wing thought the injury would, at most, force him to miss a few games. But the tendon was slow to respond to rest and treatment and he wound up appearing in only one more game the rest of the season.

"Maybe it adds another year onto my career," Clark cracked. "It's a year less of getting banged up. So maybe it's going to help in the long run."

-- Tarik El-Bashir


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