Caps’ Laich set to resume skating

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Brooks Laich is expected to add on-ice workouts to his off-season training program for the first time Monday.

According to Dan Rosen at NHL.com, the Capitals forward, who had surgery in mid-March to release a tight adductor muscle, is now completely healthy following two seasons hampered by groin injuries.

Laich has played in just 60 regular season games over the past two years, scoring nine goals while adding 10 assists to go along with a minus-5 rating. That led to rumors of him being a potential buyout candidate, whispers that were silenced when new Caps GM Brian MacLellan said “we need Brooks Laich,” back in May.

The 31-year-old told Rosen that prior to his latest surgery, every part of his game was affected by the injury.

“You’re just fearful of any sort of acceleration, fearful of any turn, fearful of engaging in any contact because you know there’s an extreme amount of pain coming your way if you do that,” Laich said. “It’s a very difficult way to live. It’s a very difficult way to participate, let alone try to excel at the sport. What I feel is the last two years have been trying to survive that day in order to be on the ice the next day as well. That’s not productive.”

Arguably the team’s most versatile forward, Laich fully expects to be 100 per cent healthy and ready to play once the season begins.

Barry Trotz and the Capitals are hoping Laich can return to the form which forced him to miss just four games between 2007-12.

Related: Agent: Laich is ‘glue of’ Capitals, won’t be bought out