In just his second contest back in the lineup after a lengthy 23-game absence with a strained right groin muscle, Mike Green was forced to leave the Capitals’ bench.

Green left the game in the second period after skating just 7 minutes and 11 seconds on nine shifts in Washington’s 5-2 loss to San Jose Saturday because of tightness in his groin, according to Coach Dale Hunter.

“It got a little tight,” Hunter said. “So we’re being careful with him and we pulled him out.”

Green’s final shift came with 9:54 remaining in the second frame, not long after he had absorbed a check from San Jose center Andrew Desjardins. But Hunter said Green’s absence late in the contest was unrelated to the play.

This is the second time this season that Green has been forced to leave a game, not long after returning from an injury. Against New Jersey on Nov. 11, in his first game back after missing six with a twisted right ankle Green played only 7:44 before exiting the contest with the groin injury.