(Gary Wiepert/Associated Press)


Brooks Laich will meet with another doctor after a consultation with groin specialist Michael Brunt, Coach Adam Oates said Wednesday.

Oates declined to comment when asked if surgery was being considered for the Capitals forward because he had not met with the team’s medical staff and General Manager George McPhee since Laich met with Brunt on Tuesday.

Laich, 29, has missed three games since he suffered a lower-body injury on April 4 against the New York Islanders that is affecting his groin.

The Capitals utility forward missed the first 28 games of the season with a groin injury that he originally suffered while playing in Switzerland during the NHL lockout. Laich returned to the lineup on March 19 in Pittsburgh and played in nine games before sustaining this new injury. Washington went 9-2-1 with Laich in the lineup this season.

On to other injury updates:

>> Martin Erat, who suffered a left leg injury on April 6 at Florida, skated for a second consecutive day but Oates said the veteran winger is still “a ways away”.

Asked if he would be ready to face Carolina Thursday at Verizon Center, Erat said, “I don’t see it.”

“It feels better every day. I don’t know what’s the timetable, but trying to skate with it and see how it goes next couple days,” Erat said. “I thought it’s gonna be much worse. But first couple days it was pretty sore, but right now it feels pretty good.”

>> Joel Ward hasn’t skated since blocking a shot from Lightning defenseman Sami Salo on April 7, and it’s clear that did more damage than Oates and the Capitals initially expected.

“Yeah he’s hurting pretty good,” Oates said. “We’re not quite sure how long it’s going to be he has not skated yet.”

>> Tom Poti, who has missed 12 games with a back injury, said he’s feeling much better and believes he’ll be ready for game action soon. At this point, though, it’s tough to imagine he will play over any of the six defensemen currently in the lineup.