(J. Pat Carter/Associated Press)

Capitals forward Brooks Laich did not skate at Thursday morning’s practice because of his lingering groin problems, and Coach Adam Oates said afterward that Laich, who visited a groin specialist earlier this week, may be unable to practice as the season wears on.

The situation, Oates said, is “very difficult.” Laich, for instance, didn’t take the morning skate prior to Monday’s home game against Pittsburgh, then played that night, then missed Tuesday’s game at Pittsburgh.

The desperation of the Capitals’ situation, though, calls for such unorthodoxy.

“But I was talking to a couple guys, and to me, if it was the playoffs, and a guy couldn’t practice between games and just played at night, you’ve seen a lot of those situations over time,” Oates said. “And we’re in playoffs.”

Laich, 30, has played in 50 of the Capitals’ 67 games and has eight goals and seven assists. Oates said they will evaluate the situation “day by day,” and Laich could play Friday night against Vancouver.

In other injury news, center Mikhail Grabovski, who hasn’t played in March because of an ankle injury, skated prior to practice Thursday, but Oates said he wouldn’t be considered to return until he was able to work out with the full squad. “I think he’s a ways away,” Oates said.