Monday, March 28, 2011, 1:03 p.m.UPDATED 3:45 p.m.
By Ben Raby
CAPITALS PAGE CAPITALS VIDEO
Capitals defenseman Mike Green skated on his own in full pads today for about 20 minutes before his teammates' practice at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex. Among the Capitals taking part in the practice were Alex Ovechkin and Jason Arnott.
The most important thing is that I am getting better, Green told reporters Monday. But it just takes time. The only thing I can do is rest, but it did feel good to get back on the ice today.
Green has missed 14 straight games and 20 of 22 overall with a concussion, dating back to when he was first injured from blocking a Brooks Orpik shot against the Penguins Feb. 6. He returned for one game against the L.A. Kings Feb. 12, and then played two shifts Feb. 25 against the Rangers before being hit by New Yorks Derek Stepan.
Green said that hes not yet clear of all his symptoms, but that its always getting better.
Weve done a great job here with the trainers and the staff with taking the right procedures for me to get better. The unfortunate thing is that it does take time, but like I said, its nice to get in a good skate and hopefully now I can get back on the ice and back to playing with the team.
Bruce Boudreau said last week that he would like Green to get at least three good practices under his belt before returning to the Caps lineup.
Those things have been so touchy, Boudreau said of head injuries and concussions. Its such a touchy situation these days and well just go with whatever head trainer Greg Smith says and if its slower than hed want then its unfortunate. But if they feel hes ready to go then hell be able to practice.
Boudreau said in Montreal that he hopes to have Green back in the lineup with three games to play in the regular season. Green is equally hopeful, but is not setting a target date just yet.
There is a protocol that you have to follow, Green said, so hopefully this week Ill be able to get out and do a full practice and get that under my belt so that I can move forward and take some tests and get back in the game. But theres no way to tell and well see how it goes this week.
Green has eight goals and 24 points in 49 games this season, his lowest totals across the board since his rookie campaign in 2006-07.
I think three practices would be good. Its going to take some time to get back in shape, I havent skated for a long time so Ill skate by myself here and hopefully get some practices in with the team and get comfortable again. I dont want to rush back into the game too much; I havent played for a while and I want to be in the best shape possible going into the playoffs.