Washington Capitals' Mike Green out at least a couple of weeks after latest hit to head

By Katie Carrera and Greg Schimmel
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, February 28, 2011; 11:34 PM

Washington Capitals General Manager George McPhee said Mike Green will be out at least "a couple of weeks" after the defenseman was hit in the head for the second time in two weeks Friday against the Rangers.

Green has missed seven of the past nine contests since a puck struck him in the head near his right ear on Feb. 6 against Pittsburgh, causing wooziness, balance problems, headaches and what the team termed an inner-ear trauma.

He left Friday's game after playing just 2 minutes 25 seconds against the Rangers following a check by Derek Stepan and flew home to Calgary the next day following the death of his grandmother.

"We're probably going to hold him out a couple of weeks," McPhee said. "We've been really careful when players have head injuries. We did the right thing with Mike and he probably could have come back earlier than he did and he felt great. Unfortunately, his second shift of the game [against the Rangers] he got drilled and got hurt. We'll be really careful; we'll hold him out longer this time - at least a couple of weeks, maybe longer."

Asked if Green suffered a concussion or another injury against the Rangers, McPhee said: "Yeah, he's had some headaches. So we've just got to be careful. He's back home now for a funeral and we'll know more when he comes back."

McPhee said Monday's trade for six-year veteran Dennis Wideman could help fill in the gaps with Green's absence and also the uncertain status of Tom Poti, who has played just 21 games this season while dealing with a groin injury.

In order to make room under the NHL's salary cap for the addition of Wideman, center Jason Arnott and winger Marco Sturm, the Capitals placed Poti and Eric Fehr (shoulder) on long-term injured reserve retroactive to the dates of their original injuries, McPhee said.

Varlamov is day-to-day

Goaltender Semyon Varlamov did not practice on Monday and Coach Bruce Boudreau said after the workout that the 22-year-old goalie is listed as day-to-day.

Varlamov is officially out with an undisclosed injury, but it is believed he is dealing with a knee problem. He has also battled a nagging groin injury throughout the season.

Fellow netminder Michal Neuvirth has started the last three games for Washington and faced shots at Monday's practice along with Jared DeMichiel, a goaltender for the minor league affiliate South Carolina Stingrays. Boudreau said DeMichiel, 25, was only in town for the workout after playing four games in Hershey. . . .

Winger D.J. King cleared waivers and will remain on the Capitals' roster. Tyler Sloan and Jay Beagle will also remain with the Capitals for the rest of the season.

They were not included on Hershey's clear day roster, which lists players eligible to return to the minors or play in the AHL's Calder Cup playoffs. . . .

As of Monday morning, there is no longer a 23-player roster limit.

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