The Washington Times - November 22, 2011, 06:09PM

John Erskine lay on the ice Sunday, unfortunately after his left shoulder hit the ice.

I think my feet kind of got taken out just kind of all my weight just went right on my shoulder where I landed,” he said.

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Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau called it a bump on the shoulder. But Erskine had surgery on his left shoulder in May and missed the first 11 games of the season.

Anytime there’s surgery, you have concern,” Boudreau said. “But John’s a very strong man and very tough. He battles through an awful lot of things. I assume this is just one of those things.”

Erskine missed Monday night’s game against the Phoenix Coyotes, and his status moving forward is not totally certain. Boudreau said Erskine’s injury is “definitely not long-term.”

The big, physical, 31-year-old defenseman didn’t have a set date.

I could be back tomorrow, I could be back Friday,” he said Tuesday. “It all depends how it feels tomorrow, I guess.”

Erskine said trainers wanted to make sure the shoulder didn’t slide out of place. It didn’t.

It doesn’t feel great, so I’ve got to build up the strength again and hopefully it won’t be much longer,” Erskine said.

The 6-foot-4 defenseman got into a fight Thursday in Winnipeg while trying to jump-start the Caps, at the time trailing 3-1. Given the surgery, he thought about it.

It was in the back of my mind. I thought it held up pretty good,” Erskine said. “It wasn’t a long fight, so that probably helped me out. It held up good and it felt good.”

But it wasn’t a concern as the fight was starting.

You don’t want to think about it like that. But like on off days. It’s in the back of your head – I wonder how it’s going to hold up,” he said. “When it actually happens, you have so much adrenaline and stuff, you don’t think about that stuff.”