Mike Green skated for the first time since he was hit in the head by the New York Rangers’ Derek Stepan on Feb. 25 this morning at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa. This is just a first step though, and Green remains sidelined indefinitely with what is believed to be a concussion after the defenseman was hit in the head twice in a 19-day span.
Green was struck in the head by a puck near his right ear on Feb. 6 against Pittsburgh and complained of wooziness, balance problems and headaches, according to the defenseman and Coach Bruce Boudreau’s comments following the injury. In the 35 days since that contest, Green has played twice -- on Feb. 8 against San Jose and Feb. 25 against the Rangers, when he suffered another blow to the head.
The Capitals have never officially listed Green’s injury as a concussion but haven’t specified that it is anything else. When asked on Monday if the two-time Norris Trophy finalist suffered a concussion on the hit by Stepan, Boudreau didn’t offer a confirmation or denial.
”I don’t know. I’m not calling it anything,” Boudreau said. “It just wasn’t right. You saw the play, he got hit in the head.”
Boudreau emphasized that while Green was able to skate, there is no rush to get him back into the lineup.
“We want to make sure that Mike is absolutely symptom-free of everything so this doesn’t happen again,” Boudreau said. “So if we have to wait an extra long time we’ll wait an extra long time. It’s more about his future than it is about one game, two games or three games.”
After his first workout since playing in the game against the Rangers 10 days ago, Green said he still wasn’t feeling quite right.
“I’m still not 100 percent,” Green said. “Got a good skate in and it’s good to get a feel for the ice again.”
Green said he didn’t remember much about Stepan’s hit, which came on his second shift of the game against the Rangers: “I was upset. I knew right away that I’d be not playing again so it’s just frustrating. But the most important thing is just getting back healthy here and resting. I haven’t watched the replay; I just felt like I had been hit by a truck. I don’t remember much.”