No surgery for Laich (groin), Caps say he’ll rehab


On Friday, we passed along word that Washington forward Brooks Laich was a facing a decision about his injured groin — undergo surgery, or try to rehab.

Today, the decision was made.

The Caps announced that Laich won’t have surgery and will try to work his way back into the lineup.

“We came to the conclusion we want [Laich] to be pain-free before he goes on the ice again,” head coach Adam Oates told CSN Washington. “So he’s working as hard as he can to become pain free.

“We don’t want any setbacks.”

Laich’s wonky groin — which he hurt while playing in Swizterland during the lockout — cost him the first 28 games of the season, and now the last five.

Had he undergone surgery, it would’ve been of the sports hernia variety. The issue, of course, was the four-to-six week recovery period, which would’ve essentially wiped out Laich’s season.

When healthy, Laich has been a valuable contributor for the Caps this season.

He’s scored 1G-3A-4PTS in nine games while averaging over 16 minutes per contest. He was also the club’s top penalty-killing forward in terms of shorthanded ice time per game.

The Caps have six games left in the regular season and appear playoff-bound, holding a four-point lead over Winnipeg for first place in the Southeast Division.

Washington says the goal is to get Laich back for the postseason, but isn’t making any promises.

“You don’t want a guy to have a setback,” Oates explained. “It’s obviously a tough injury and right now it’s between him and Smitty [athletic trainer Greg Smith] and the doctors.”