BALLSTON, Va. - Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green took part in the team's optional skate Thursday, marking the third time he has skated since undergoing abdominal surgery January 17, according to a team spokesman.
Green, wearing full pads, took to the ice before his teammates with strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish. He stayed out there for about 25 minutes, taking part in all skating and shooting drills without any apparent limitations before leaving.
"Mentally, I feel great," Green said. "At least I have an end date where I should be better and that's comforting. Physically, I'm Day 3 into being on the ice, today with equipment on, so it's still early, but from the point of the surgery, I'm two weeks in and on the right path."
Green has appeared in just 10 games this season with a myriad of injuries, from a twisted right ankle to a strained right groin muscle. Green said Thursday that he tried to do everything he could to heal without going under the knife, but it reached the point where not having surgery was no longer an option.
"As much as I was doing and trying as hard as I could to come back, there was just something wrong," he said. "It's comforting now that it's fixed. I can tell right away. It's just a matter of getting back in shape."
The timetable for Green's return was originally slated at four to six weeks and Green is sticking to that, even saying that he hopes to be back quicker.
"There is a progression and a timeline of how you should feel," he said. "If I can speed that process up, I will. If I need to take more time, I will."