The Washington Times - December 27, 2011, 03:41PM

No one wants to see Mike Green turn into Tom Poti. Groin injuries are no joke, and Green knows it.

I think I’m going to have to be cognizant of this for the rest of my career, probably,” the Washington Capitals All-Star defenseman said. “This is something that you’ve got to take care of, especially with hockey. It’s such a common thing. It’s just maintenance right now. Making sure that I’m on top of my stuff and I’m getting better. I don’t think I’ll be 100 percent for a long time, but just got to get to that stage where I can play.”

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Green suffered a right groin strain Nov. 11 and has been off and on the ice for spurts since. But there’s no point in rushing him back, especially given that the Caps already know from Poti’s example what can happen if things go poorly.

Most players will want to push themselves to get in tomorrow, right?” coach Dale Hunter said. “That is a fine line – injuries and he’s such a key part of your team that you don’t want to set him back again.”

Green skating with teammates was a good sign, but he’s not pushing himself too hard.

Right now until I get back to as good as possible. I think it’s just more of a mind thing. Your body the way it reacts it doesn’t function the same way right now. And this was my first skate with the team. Went as hard as I could. So I think as I go on here I’ll get that functioning back. It just takes time.”