Every breakdown day comes with a laundry list of injuries, confirmed or shared. Monday was no exception so here’s an update on all of the Capitals’ walking wounded. More updates to come on all of these players over the next several days.
>> Mike Green sat out the final four games of the season with a fractured rib that he suffered on April 5 in the first period at the New York Islanders.
Coach Adam Oates said previously it occurred on a hit late in that frame, but you’ll recall that was also the contest in which Green and veteran winger Jason Chimera collided on a breakout play.
The injury “just kind of crippled me and I wasn’t able to finish. It was frustrating especially with the amount of games left in the season,” Green said. “You want to finish strong and with the spot that we were in, we were still in at that point. It was deflating for myself not being able to finish.”
>> Marcus Johansson is sporting a cast on his left arm, signed by his teammates like a yearbook on the last day of school, after a shot by Nicklas Backstrom struck him in the penultimate game of the season, fracturing his forearm. Johansson sat out the final game of the regular season.
“It happens,” Johansson said. “It’s not a fun way to end the year but it’s part of the game and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
>> Brooks Laich, who underwent groin surgery on March 17, the second time in as many years he’s gone under the knife to address the nagging problem, said Monday he did not pass his end-of-the-year physical. Encouraged by the progress in his rehabilitation, Laich is optimistic he will be completely ready for next season.
“I’m not ready to play, I couldn’t play [Sunday],” Laich said. “But with my whole heart I believe that I’ll be 100 percent ready to resume my career and excel at the game, not just participate, come training camp. I believe that with my whole heart.”
>> Jack Hillen suffered a concussion from his collision with Alex Ovechkin in overtime of a March 25 contest against Los Angeles. It was a scary scene as Ovechkin, listed at 6-3, 230 pounds, and Hillen, 5-10, 190, barreled into each other at full speed with the defenseman’s head taking the brunt of the impact with the winger’s chest.
While he skated twice after the hit, Hillen missed the final nine games and said Monday he’s still not symptom free.
“I wanted to play. I wanted to get back. I was trying to basically, to be politically correct, ignore the symptoms and just kind of thought they would get better,” said Hillen, who has had a concussion once before. “They’re starting to get better but just recently they’ve started to get better – I’m still not cleared. I just thought better of it after I skated a couple times. I just knew if I was feeling a little weird in a pregame skate in the speed of a game it wouldn’t be right to be out there not feeling comfortable it just wasn’t a smart idea.”
Hillen was sidelined 60 games after he fractured the tibial plateau on his right leg in the second game of the season and acknowledged that he may have hurried back from that ailment. That injury along with the concussion limited him to just 13 games this year.
>> Rookie defenseman Patrick Wey was also sidelined by a concussion after being knocked out in a fight by Predators tough guy Rich Clune. He missed the final seven games of the season.