Capitals defenseman Mike Green hopped on the ice in full gear Tuesday hoping his sprained right ankle would be able to hold up for an entire practice.
It lasted about five minutes.
"I was hoping to skate a little more than (Monday)," Green said, "but I want to take my time."
Green has missed three straight games since rolling awkwardly on his ankle in a 7-1 win over the Red Wings on Oct. 22 and is unless he's able to participate in a full practice on Thursday he's unlikely to be in the lineup Friday when the Capitals visit the Carolina Hurricanes.
"Well see," he said. "If I feel good Ill play. I wake up each day and it feels a little bit better. Tomorrow can be a lot better than today."
Caps coach Bruce Boudreau sounded pessimistic about Green's chances of playing on Friday and it appears the Capitals might hold the All-Star defenseman out until next Tuesday's home game against the Dallas Stars.
"If I can't skate I can't play," Green said. "The swelling stayed down. Its just a matter of getting it strong again and comfortable enough to play. In the next couple days it should be strong, but I don't want to jump in the lineup and be a hazard out there. I want to make sure Im ready."
With Green out, the Capitals have had to rearrange their defense pairings and on Wednesday they went with Karl Alzner with Jeff Schultz; Dennis Wideman with John Erskine; and Roman Hamrlik with John Carlson.