The Washington Times - December 22, 2011, 12:43PM

Mike Green took his usual twirls around the ice with just strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish out there. He stepped onto the ice at 11:33 a.m., a little under a half-hour before practice was set to start.

The injured Washington Capitals defenseman who has been out with a right groin strain skated by himself for about 15 minutes before teammates got onto the ice.

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Green stayed on the ice to do team drills for about another 20 minutes, leaving at 12:11 p.m. He did not talk to reporters. Team spokesman Sergey Kocharov has said Green will be made available when his status changes.

“I think when he goes from not playing at all to skating for four days, he’s really healing. It’s just only a matter of time now,” Hunter said.

That quote should have a disclaimer on it that Green’s status has not changed. The coach said he wasn’t sure if Green was traveling with the team to Newark.

Green will miss his 19th straight game Friday night when the Caps travel to face the New Jersey Devils. Thursday was the fourth straight time Green skated this week.

“I’ve never had a serious one like that. But I’ve seen other guys that have and basically it takes time. you’ve got to be patient with it,” Hunter said. “It’s your stride, which is so important. He’s coming along very good – when I see him out here, I think it’s a good feeling for the team.”