MONTREAL, CANADA - MARCH 15: Dennis Wideman #6 of the Washington Capitals skates with the puck while being chased by Tom Pyatt #94 of the Montreal Canadiens during the NHL game at the Bell Centre on March 15, 2011 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Capitals defeated the Canadiens 4-2. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

Dennis Wideman Returns To The Ice After Suffering Leg Hematoma

Bruce Boudreau says Dennis Wideman is three weeks away from returning to the lineup.

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Dennis Wideman Injury: Capitals Defenseman Returns To The Ice For The First Time

Just over two weeks since Capitals defenseman Dennis Wideman suffered a leg injury, he has begun skating at KCI, according to Katie Carrera at the Washington Post.

This is the first time Wideman has skated since he suffered a leg hematoma on Mar. 29 when he absorbed a knee-to-thigh hit from Carolina’s Tuomo Ruutu. Wideman spent at least 11 days in the hospital where he underwent surgery to drain the blood and relieve the pressure that had built up in his leg.

It is not clear when the Capitals are targeting a return to the lineup for Wideman, although coach Boudreau speculated that it may be about three weeks before we see a return to the ice (in actual game action that is) for Wideman. But whenever he is able to return, he would provide a boost to the new and improved Capitals defense, and another level of physicality that should help them as they progress in the playoffs. Let's just hope they are still alive when he is tagetting a return.

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Dennis Wideman Injury Likely To Sideline Capitals Defensemen For Three Weeks

The Washington Capitals received a bit of clarity with regard to Dennis Wideman's injury. The Capitals' defensemen, who has not played since March 26 after suffering a leg hematoma in a hit against Carolina, was finally released from the hospital on Monday and is expected to return in about three weeks, coach Bruce Boudreau said.

Via Capitals Insider:

"He's a really determined young man. He's rehabbing it pretty hard right now. He's a lot better today than he was yesterday. I don't know if that means anything, but if that rate of recovery is good then it wouldn't surprise me - [if in] three weeks he'll be ready."    

This means that Wideman is certainly out for the Capitals vs. Rangers first-round 2011 NHL Playoffs series, but he could return to action if the Capitals advance. Wideman was acquired in a trade-deadline deal with the Florida Panthers, and he, along with Jason Arnott, helped turn the team around.

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