This year has been a nightmare health-wise for Brooks Laich, who has missed 32 of Washington’s 41 games with a reoccurring groin problem.
Now, he’s facing a tough decision:
End the frustration, or grind it out.
According to CSN’s Chuck Gormely, Laich and the Capitals are mulling over two options on how to treat the injury.
One is corrective surgery for the groin — which could end Laich’s season — while the other is letting him rehab his way back into the lineup.
According to head coach Adam Oates, it’s still not clear what direction they’ll take.
“He’s seeing a lot of [specialists],” Oates told CSN. “We’re tying to figure out any way we can to get him on the ice before we go to other steps. They’re still having a tough time identifying exactly what it is.”
Laich missed the first 28 games of the season and has now missed the last four. Surgery would be of the sports hernia variety, but the issue is the four-to-six week recovery period, which could wipe out Laich’s season.
Further complicating things? The fact Washington’s on fire.
The Caps have won six straight and are 8-1-1 in their last 10, moving into sole possession of first in the Southeast Division and third in the Eastern Conference.
Laich could undergo surgery, try to rehab quickly and hope to be back for the second postseason round, assuming the Caps get there.
Or he could sit out a little longer, and aim to rejoin the team at the start of the playoffs.
Either way, according to teammate Mike Green, a decision will have to be made.
“At some point you just have to make a decision,” said Green, who missed five weeks last season after sports hernia surgery. “[Laich’s] a strong mental guy and he’ll come out of this if he works hard.”