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Green feels 'great' as he works way back @NHL
Mike Green has been trying to recover from injuries for much of this season. He's just glad to have an idea when the end is near for his latest malady.

Green has played in only three of the past 43 games for the Washington Capitals, and he's only been able to finish one of those contests. He finally had sports hernia surgery to fix an ongoing groin problem, and skated in full gear Thursday at the team's practice facility in Arlington, Va.

"Mentally, I feel great," Green told reporters. "I have the progression of the injury and at least I have an end date where I should be better. That is comforting. Physically, I'm on Day 3 of being on the ice and today I had equipment on. It is still early. Is two weeks from the point of the surgery and I'm on the right path.

"It is great, because before I didn't [know]. As much as I was doing and trying as hard as I could to come back, there was just something wrong. It is comforting now that it is fixed -- and I can tell right away. It is just a matter of getting back in shape and this healing up and getting ready to go."

Mike Green
Defense - WSH
GOALS: 3 | ASST: 3 | PTS: 6
SOG: 20 | +/-: 1
Green is a two-time Norris Trophy finalist and when healthy, one of the premier offensive defensemen in hockey. His value to the Capitals has been proven even greater during the past two seasons when he has struggled to stay in the lineup with various injuries.

Washington began this season with seven straight victories before an ankle injury felled Green. The Capitals have failed to meet expectations since, and are currently one point behind the Florida Panthers in the Southeast Division and in ninth place in the Eastern Conference.

Green hurt his groin in his first game back from the ankle injury, and then injured it again in the second game back of his next comeback. The decision was made to have surgery and he is expected to end up missing four-to-six weeks from the date of the Jan. 17 procedure.

"I've talked to a few guys [who had the surgery] and they've come out great," Green said. "That's a positive for me. I just have to make sure I'm doing the right things here to get better quick. I mean, four-to-six weeks -- I am hoping to be back before that.

"I tried everything else not to go [through surgery], but it just had to be done. I obviously didn't want to, but at the end of the day I need to come back and play, and that was the only way to get back quicker."
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