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Mike Green Injury Update: Capitals Defenseman Will Return From Injury Against Flames

BALLSTON, Va. - Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green will return to the lineup Tuesday when the Caps host the Calgary Flames at Verizon Center.

"Finally," a relieved Green said. "It's been frustrating sitting out and obviously a couple months ago, coming back and then first game back, back in the press box. I'm just happy to be back, focused, preparing to do the right things tonight. That's all that's on my mind right now."

Green missed 23 consecutive games with a strained right groin muscle that he suffered November 11 against the New Jersey Devils. Coincidentally, that game was his first game back from a six-game layoff while he recovered from a twisted right ankle in a October 22 game against the Detroit Red Wings. Green has missed all but eight games this season.

Considering it has been almost two months since Green saw game action, he plans to take things easy Tuesday and slowly work his way back into game shape. Green said that he and the coaches have a rough idea of how many minutes he will play in his return.

"I think you've gotta ease yourself in," he said. "I don't think I'm going to be jumping up and all over the ice. I think that it's important for me to get my game back. it's better that I try to do that slowly rather than quickly. I don't intend on being up and down the ice tonight. Anytime you come back from an injury, especially this long, it's about being simple, I think that's going to be the most important thing tonight."

Tuesday's game will be Green's first game under Dale Hunter, who took over November 28, but Green has been learning the nuances of Hunter's system during his recovery.

"It's gonna be different, but I gotta start somewhere. I've been going over game tape with the coaches. I had a couple practices now where I could try to mold into the way they play, but it's going to be a learning experience for me. I hope nobody else expects me to be able to pick it up just like that. If I do, that's a bonus."

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