Mike Green healthy and ready to play
Last January, Capitals defenseman Mike Green underwent surgery for a sports hernia after being sidelined with a groin injury for most of the 2011-2012 season. He returned to action for the Capitals' playoff run but was clearly not completely healthy.
A year later, Green has totally recovered from the surgery. The long absence from a grueling NHL schedule allowed Green to mend completely. "I think that [with] the season not starting on time I've had a chance to kind of heal from my surgery. I've been training hard, so I'm ready."
Structure is a large part of a professional athlete's life both during a season and in the off season, and NHL players had been missing that component during the lockout,as teams were not allowed to run official team practices. Green said even though he skated during the lockout, it was significantly lacking structure. "For us to get back on the ice and have the coaches guide us and get back in the flow of things, that's exciting," said Green.
Green cast aside any doubts about his readiness to begin the season, saying about a month ago he began to have "that hop in my step that I didn't have before."
Even though he said he has only been completely pain-free for a month, Green said he is mentally prepared for the compacted schedule. "I'm excited to get started here, to be honest," he said.
He hopes that Adam Oates will be able to provide him with valuable insight on his position and seemed positive about the video session he recently had with Oates.
Picking up a new system in a short amount of time is not something Green is worried about. After a long hiatus from regular coaching, drills, and games, Green and his teammates are ready to soak it all up. "We're like a sponge right now, ready to absorb all the information we can and we'll go from there."
Any other rumors about Green's health were squelched by telling reporters that he had Lasik eye surgery on Thursday of that week. Green had not skated the last two days, casting some doubt about his ability to play. "I had a blurry puck, so I need to see it clearly. That's it."
Green ran into goalie Michal Neuvirth during practice and ended up upside down in the net, providing spectators with a light moment, something they had been missing during the dark days of the NHL lockout. Green said his vision was "a little off" because of his eye surgery earlier that week. He said he apologized to Neuvirth afterwards.