While there still is no time table for his return, Mike Green skated for the first time in a month today. NHL.com also reports that the Washington Capitals’ offensive defenseman is finally concussion symptom-free.
The report notes that it was an optional skate with only 11 players, with no contact. So it wasn’t the kind of full practice that would make it clear that Green is on the verge of a return.
Green said he would like to try to play in one of the Capitals’ final four remaining games, but the ultimate goal is to get ready for the playoffs. Green hasn’t played in an NHL contest since February 25th, when Derek Stepan landed an elbow on him in his first game back after missing time from taking a slap shot to the ear.
Overall, Green missed 22 out of Washington’s last 24 games and 16 in a row.
His improved health is coming at just about the right time, as Dennis Wideman is out for an unknown amount of time with what apparently is a “gruesome” injury while the team is also dealing with injuries to Mike Poti and John Erskine. Maybe their recent losses will hurt them in their quest to take the East’s top seed, but if Green can come back soon, their chances of having the kind of power play necessary to score easier playoff goals will improve substantially.
The question is: will he be able to shake off the rust quick enough if he cannot get a few reps in before the postseason begins?