by Katie Carrera

(John McDonnell/The Washington Post)
On Hockey: Mike Green’s injuries put Caps in tough spot

Green has missed all but 10 of Washington’s games this season and has been suffering from a groin problem since mid-November. There were two components to Green’s initial injury, according to McPhee.

“One was a tendon issue, one was a little tear in the stomach [lining]. The tendon healed just fine but the hole didn’t close up. We just need to close that thing up,” McPhee said, adding that Green didn’t tear the stomach lining again. “It just never really healed to the point he can play with it effectively.”

Dr. Michael Brunt, who is listed as the general surgeon for the Blues, will be performing the surgery, McPhee said, and is someone the Capitals regularly consult when dealing with groin problems and sports hernias. The surgery will take place in St. Louis.

Green suffered the intial injury back on Nov. 11 at New Jersey when he was hit awkwardly in the corner by Devils forward Ryan Carter. McPhee said that the Capitals’ medical staff consulted with Brunt in those early stages and didn’t think surgery was necessary at that point. So they opted to take the conservative, non-invasive route.

When the conservative approach ultimately didn’t work out with the tear in Green’s stomach lining not healing entirely, they changed to the more aggressive approach and decided to move forward with surgery.

“You never want to open anybody up to surgery if it’s not necessary, you always take the conservative approach and we did,” McPhee said. “Parts of it went real well and one part [the tear in Green’s stomach] didn’t. We need to repair the one area and it will now eliminate the unknown. Sometimes when you take the conservative approach it takes awhile and you don’t really know when the player is going to be ready. With this procedure we know when the player should be ready.”

The timeline for Green’s possible return is four to six weeks, which means he wouldn’t be back in the mix until at least late February. McPhee said after the surgery Green will hopefully be skating in a “couple weeks” and that the procedure could prevent the defenseman from dealing with this problem again down the road in his career.

“They put some mesh in there to make the stomach lining stronger,” McPhee said about the procedure. “It’s been done a lot the last 10 or 15 years. A lot of players are having it done when they have these issues and some doctors have gotten really good at them and we think Dr. Brunt is the best.”

It’s a fairly common surgery for NHL players. More to come, including comments from assistant coach Dean Evason, who had the same surgery late in his playing career.

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On Hockey: Mike Green’s injury puts Caps in tough spot
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