The Washington Times - March 23, 2011, 12:42PM

Here’s the word-by-word transcript of what Alex Ovechkin had to say when meeting with reporters Wednesday morning:

Q: How are you feeling?

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Ovechkin: “Good.”

Q: When do you expect to come back, do you know yet?

Ovechkin: “Uh, I don’t know, maybe like five to seven days.”

Q: How much of a surprise was this for you – the decision to take this little rest?

Ovechkin: “I think right now we clinched playoff spot and right now all the organization focus about playoffs. I think right now is good time to, you know, make some rest for my body because I feel something a couple months. Right now it’s a good time to recover it and I feel good and be good in playoffs.

Q: Was it strange for you to watch a game on TV?

Ovechkin: “Yeah I was kind of surprised last night to stay in D.C. and last year when I have injuries I just travel with the team and watch the game upstairs and right now I stay home, watch games on TV and kind of strange.”

Q: Why did you stay home?

Ovechkin: “Umm. I have to work out.”

Q: Bruce referenced yesterday that you have to prepare a lot for practices or games, he said up to an hour to get ready for a practice or a game. Is that more than usual or what type of routine have you been doing lately?

Ovechkin: “I’ve been doing it, like, all year. Again it’s something I would have to recover. It was pretty hard decision to make it, but you know right now everybody focused on playoffs and everybody wants to be good in playoffs.”

Q: Did someone initiate the decision or did you say, ‘Hey maybe I should take a rest’ or did someone say to you, ‘Why don’t you take a break?’

Ovechkin: “No, it was our collective decision and we talk about probably two weeks before that and again it was pretty hard but when we win some games in a row and we feel good, we just said, ‘OK, it’s time to it right now.’

Q: Alex, did you need rest or was there a small surgery involved here?

Ovechkin: “Surgery? (joking) Yeah, I had surgery – like five-hour surgery and I was knocked out. No, it was just like a thing with … again, I think it’s good to do it right now than before playoffs.

Q: When you say this was two weeks ago that this was first brought up, could you have sat earlier, was Nicky [Backstrom]’s absence maybe why you were playing or why now as opposed two weeks ago?

Ovechkin: “No. It’s bothered me the last two months. Last two weeks we just decided to do it.”

Q: What exactly is ‘it’? You keep saying ‘it’ – what is it?

Ovechkin: “Guess.”

Q: Well, we are guessing.

Ovechkin: “It’s good, you know.”