The Washington Times - December 10, 2011, 01:42PM

Matt Hendricks was back on the ice Saturday for the first time since injuring his right knee Monday night in the Washington Capitals’ loss at the Florida Panthers.

There’s no official timetable for his return to game action.

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“I was on the ice today; that’s a step in the right direction,” he said. “I’m feeling good. It’s good to be back on the ice today. A lot of fun; it was a good practice, and it’s always great to be back seeing the smiles after a couple wins.”

Hendricks’ smile was back after what looked like a difficult day Tuesday in South Florida when he couldn’t skate with teammates. Then, he declined to talk to reporters but appeared in a better mood Saturday. Hendricks’ knee was wrapped.

He admitted some soreness despite taking part in the full, albeit light, practice.

“Yeah, a little bit,” Hendricks said. “Not too bad. A little sore.”

Hendricks has no goals this season, the only Caps forward with that dubious distinction. Being out of the lineup is particularly hard for the 30-year-old.

“It’s one of those things you don’t ever want to do: sit in the press box and watch,” Hendricks said. “But the team’s doing a great job. Everyone’s playing well right now and winning games is more important.”