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Mike Green day-to-day with upper-body injury; Capitals recall Schmidt

Tuesday morning, the Washington Capitals recalled defenseman Nate Schmidt from their American Hockey League affiliate in Hershey on an emergency basis, corresponding to an upper-body injury to Mike Green that has left him day-to-day.

Before practice, Green worked out, skated and conducted puck-handling drills with strength coach Mark Nemish. Coach Barry Trotz is expected to provide an update on Green’s future status following practice.

If Schmidt indeed replaces Green for Wednesday’s Metropolitan Division showdown with the New York Rangers, it would mark the 23-year-old’s NHL return from a fractured shoulder blade, suffered in mid-January while on a conditioning stint with the Bears. Since he incurred the injury in the minors, Schmidt stayed there to rehabilitate, earning an AHL salary.

Schmidt last played for the Capitals on Jan. 8, his only game in 2015. In 33 outings with Washington, the rookie has registered three assists. He was present at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Tuesday, receiving stick taps and applause from the goaltenders when he joined them for a pre-practice shooting session. He would likely be deployed in Green’s spot, on the third pairing beside Tim Gleason.

Green, meanwhile, last missed time for injury on Feb. 6 at home against Anaheim, with a lower-body issue. The right-handed defenseman ranks tied for fourth on the Capitals with 38 points and third with 33 assists.

If Green feels healthy enough to face the Rangers, then Schmidt would return to Hershey without penalty to Washington’s four post-deadline recall limit, much like Andre Burakovsky did before Saturday’s win over Buffalo, when forward Alex Ovechkin was a game-time decision.

More to come.

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