Goaltender Tomas Vokoun took part in practice drills and faced shots from his teammates on Wednesday for the first time since he aggravated his groin muscle injury on Mar. 29.
That’s pretty much where the good news ends for the veteran goaltender, who remains sidelined by what he called a “pretty severe tear” of his groin muscle – an injury that comes with no timetable for recovery.
“The explanation from the doctor to me was that it’s like a concussion,” Vokoun said. “Somebody heals in months, somebody else [sooner], it all depends on how your body is reacting so you can’t predict. It’s not like saying ‘its two weeks and you’ll be fine.’ It’s when you feel good — that’s when you’re fine. That means you have to go through a full practice and do everything like in a game situation and I haven’t done anything close to that.”
At this point, whether Vokoun will ever suit up for Washington again is uncertain. It is equally dependent upon his ability to make a full recovery and the team’s ability to remain alive in the postseason. Vokoun, 35, is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Vokoun didn’t make it sound as though he would be ready for game action any time soon. Right now his goal is to strengthen his muscle, but he’s far from feeling comfortable on the ice.
“I’m learning this as I go and doing what they’re telling me,” Vokoun said. “But I just know the feeling I have on the ice and when I get into certain situations I just can’t do it, and if you can’t do it then… you just can’t do it.”
It’s a disappointing turn of events for Vokoun, who signed with Washington last summer for the chance to play in the postseason – something he hasn’t done since the 2006-07 season.
“It’s very hard. Obviously you play whole year and go through up and downs. This is the fun time and this is when you want to play,” Vokoun said. “It’s specifically for me, I came here for that actual experience and not to be able to play, it’s really hard. But that’s life. It’s out of my control.”
More on the Capitals:
— It’s gloves off in the NHL as playoffs turn violent
— Wise: NHL fails to control intimidation tactics
— Capitals, Bruins exchange verbal barbs