Capitals Notebook

Caps' injury situation worsens with Semin among those sidelined

An MRI exam on Alexander Semin's right wrist did not reveal any structural damage.
An MRI exam on Alexander Semin's right wrist did not reveal any structural damage. (Toni L. Sandys - The Washington Post)
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By Tarik El-Bashir
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 19, 2009

Just when the Washington Capitals' injury situation appeared to be improving, things have taken an unexpected turn for the worse.

Alexander Semin, the team's second most dangerous goal-scoring threat, arrived at Kettler Capitals Iceplex following practice on Wednesday wearing a new brace on his "sore" right wrist.

General Manager George McPhee said an MRI exam did not reveal any structural damage but conceded that Semin, who was sidelined Tuesday in New York, might miss this weekend's games against Montreal and Toronto as well.

"The wrist got sore [but] it's not from a blow or anything," McPhee said. "He just tweaked it."

Alex Ovechkin returned to the lineup Tuesday and helped the Capitals to a 4-2 victory over the New York Rangers, but with Semin sidelined, they are now without four forwards from the opening night roster. Mike Knuble (broken finger), Boyd Gordon (sore back) and Quintin Laing (broken jaw) are also out.

Semin, who is listed as day to day, is believed to have been injured when he was hit by a Florida player as he unleashed a wrist shot Nov. 6. He played through the injury because the Capitals were already without Ovechkin, their leading scorer.

Since the game in Florida, Semin has two goals and no assists in five games, with both goals coming in the same game.

Laing, meantime, had two metal plates inserted during surgery to repair his jaw, which was shattered when he went down to block a shot off the stick of Rangers defenseman Michal Rozsival as the Capitals clung to a 2-1 lead in the third period Tuesday.

McPhee said he expects Laing to miss four to six weeks. Laing's jaw was also wired shut.

In the past nine months, Laing, a 30-year-old, checking-line winger who made an NHL roster out of training camp for the first time in October, has also suffered a torn spleen and contracted swine flu in the past year.

"It's like he plays the game with someone else's body," captain Chris Clark said. "It's amazing. Teams that have guys like him on the team win championships because they put their bodies on the line."

Theodore back with team

José Theodore returned to practice after leaving the team for 24 hours on Tuesday to tend to family matters, but it's still unclear when the goalie will return to the lineup.

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