BALLSTON, Va. - Washington Capitals General Manager George McPhee said Tuesday that defenseman Mike Green's surgery is to repair a sports hernia, among other things.
"It's basically a sports hernia," McPhee said Tuesday after the team's morning skate at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. "But there were a couple parts to it. One was a tendon issue and one was a tear in the stomach. The tendon [felt] just fine, but the hole didn't close up, so we just need to close that thing up."
Green has been hampered by numerous injuries over the past two seasons, which have limited him to exactly half of the Caps' combined regular season and playoff games (67 of 134). This season, Green suffered a twisted right ankle October 22 and a strained right groin muscle in his return from the ankle injury November 11. Green missed 23 games before returning January 3, but left during Washington's subsequent game January 7 and has not played since.
When asked why the team waited until now to consider surgery for Green, McPhee said that the doctor performing the surgery, Dr. Michael Brunt, "didn't think it was necessary at the time."
"You always want to take the conservative approach. You never want to open anybody up to surgery if it's not necessary, so you always take the conservative approach and we did. Parts of it went really well and one part didn't go so well, so we need to repair the one area."
"We'll now eliminate the unknown, McPhee continued. "Sometimes, when you take the conservative approach, it takes a while and you don't really know when the player's going to be ready. With this procedure, we know when the player should be ready."
McPhee said that Green should be available in four to six weeks.
According to McPhee, the doctor will insert some meshing into Green's stomach to make the stomach lining stronger in a procedure that has been done "a lot in the last 10 or 15 years," including to former Caps Jamie Heward, Ben Clymer and Chris Clark, who Dr. Brunt all operated on, as well as assistant coach Dean Evason.
Green's surgery will take place in St. Louis Tuesday afternoon.