Capitals defenseman Mike Green is scheduled to visit with a groin specialist and is expected to join the team in Winnipeg on Thursday, coach Dale Hunter said.
But that doesnt mean the 26-year-old defenseman is any closer to playing in a game.
Its a good sign, Hunter said.
Its day-to-day. Its getting better. It just takes time. I think every players been through it. Its a little frustrating when you cant play. It just takes time to heal.
Sidelined with a groin strain since Nov. 11, Green skated four straight days last week, but declined to speak to reporters on Thursday. He has not skated since then. Hunter would not specify where Green was headed to see a specialist, only that he would join them on a road trip that will take them to Winnipeg on Thursday and Colorado on Saturday.
The Caps are 8-0-0 with Green in the lineup this season and 7-12-1 without him.
Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner said hes not overly concerned that Greens injury, still labeled as day-to-day by the club, has dragged on for more than a month now.
Not really, Alzner said. He wants to be ready. Its not one of those things you can jump back in and battle through it. Youve got to wait. Were prepared to wait until playoffs if thats how long it takes. Its no big deal. We just want him back at some point.
Caps defenseman Roman Hamrlik agreed.
Its still bothering him and hes not 100 percent, Hamrlik said. You dont want to push him because theres no point he could be out for longer. Every body is different. You cant judge whether a player should play or not. Hes going to know when hes ready. This is the kind of injury that can come back again and again.
Hamrlik should know. He said when he played with the Islanders a groin injury nagged him all season and did not completely heal until the summer.
It was bothering me all 82 games, he said. I had to tape my groin every game and every practice and I was only 70 percent. Its no fun when you have no power and you play with that pain.
We wish he was back sooner and we wish he would play, but hes still not ready.
We dont want him to push it and get worse. Hopefully, hell be back soon.