Defense man Rick Green's right wrist became the latest problem to plague the Washington capitals. Green was held out of scrimmages today because the wrist, broken Jan. 20, is becoming more painful.

Green wore a series of eight casts from January to Aug. 24, when the latest was removed and the wrist was pronounced healed. He had seemed impressive in shooting drills at Fort Dupont in early September, although he wore a brace on the wrist.

"It's been sore all along and it's getting worse," Green said today. "They don't want me to use it in scrimmages. I can still do the skating drills and keep my wind, through."

Palumbo Jr., the team physician, in McLean. Va. That could be the biggest day of the season for the Capitals, because center Guy Charron is going along, too, for another checkup on his injured right knee.

"It might be a taste of too much work in too short a time," Green said. "I don't think I've done any damage to the bone. What I probably need is good regular therapy to get the movement back and the strength back.

"Movement in the wrist itself is still very limited. It's just not coming along the way I'd hoped."

The bone, broken during a practice collision with defenseman Gord Smith in Montreal, is a small one at the base of the right thumb. It is a difficult bone to heal and the only alternative is to graft bone from the hip in its place.

"I waited it out and now it's just a matter of rehabilitating it." Green said. "But it's the eighth month now. I sure hope therapy will take care of it."

Smith came a lot closer to an operation Tuesday night than he desired. He banged his right elbow on the ice when the elbow pad slipped and, after finishing practice, he was taken to a hospital for observation.

"The first doctor who looked at it thought the tendon was cut and wanted to operate," Smith said. "Fortunately, they brought an orthopedic guy in and he talked him out of it. They put in six stitches, two deep and four high."

Smith, with a reinforced elbow pad firmly in place, participated in two sessions today.

It was a quadruple workout for center Walter McKechnie, who was barely able to skate by the time the day's final scrimmage was over.

"I never said it would be easy, Walter," cach Tom McVie shouted from his haunt in the press box.

Archie Henderson, 6-foot-6 rookie right wing who launched the camp fistic program Tuesday against defenseman Brent Tremblay, tangled with center Alex Forsyth and winger Blair Stewart today.

Although both fights were quickly broken up by other players, Stewart wound up a big loser. Moments after play had resumed, Henderson crumpled Stewart into the board with a jarring check.

Stewart, holding the back of his left leg, left for treatment after a leisurely skate around the ice.

Winger Hank Nowak and defenseman Bryan Watson, former teammates at Detroit, tangled at center ice and were pried apart by players. Nowak threw Watson to the ice after being whacked by Watson's stick.

Everything is not life and death at the Capital's camp. Ace Bailey, smiling his way through the most difficult of drills, including skating with weights attached to his ankles, sneaked up behind McKechnie, who was being interview by Mike patrick of WJLA-TV. "Hi, Mom," Bailey shouted, waving at the camera.