(Nick Wass/Associated Press)


Mike Green was out on the ice for a full skate with his teammates Tuesday morning for the first time since aggravating his groin injury on Feb. 27.

The Capitals’ top defenseman has missed eight of the last 10 games because of a nagging groin injury, and while it’s a positive sign to see him on the ice, Green cautioned that he’s not ready to return to game action yet.

“Still a little bit of a ways away, but at least I’m back on the ice,” Green said. “It’s something you can’t predict, obviously. It just happens. Just needed some more time off to make sure that it was 100 percent rather than 90.”

Green said he’s been undergoing dry needling, a form of needle therapy for muscle pain, which has “sped up the recovery big time.”

The toughest part about Green’s recovery from the groin injury is that there’s no adequate way for him to test the injury with the same kind of stresses that he faces in a game. Green absorbed a few hits in Philadelphia that made it clear he wasn’t at full strength.

“I felt okay in practice and then once I got into the game and got hit – the game’s a lot faster,” Green said. “I had unexpected stops and starts and that puts strain on it. And it just wasn’t ready.

“Try and play through it, but you’re only so effective then, and then you’re not playing your best game and possibly hurting your team,” Green said. “So that’s why I decided to take some time off and get it 100 percent.”