The Washington Times - November 4, 2011, 01:11PM

RALEIGH, N.C. | The good news is Mike Green was on the ice at RBC Center for about an hour Saturday and said he felt the best he has since injuring his right ankle Oct. 22.

The bad news is he’s out again Friday night when the Capitals face the Carolina Hurricanes and very unlikely will be out again Saturday night at the New York Islanders.

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Asked if a return was possible on Long Island, Green didn’t seem optimistic.

“No. I don’t know, to be honest with you,” he said. “It’s every day. If I can play, I’ll play. If I can’t, I can’t play, obviously.”

But Green, who was on the ice with fellow scratch D.J. King well after the Caps wrapped up their team skate, reported progress.

“I feel a little bit better to push it a little bit longer,” he said. “I’m getting better each day, and it’s just about strengthening it. Once it;’s fully strong I’ll play.”

With Dennis Wideman playing what Brooks Laich called the best hockey he has seen out of the defensemen, and John Erskine looking sharp in his season debut, the Caps may be taking it on the cautious side with Green. It is, after all, November, and they’re 8-2.

Coach Bruce Boudreau spent much of training camp talking about not wanting to hurry players back too soon. That train of thought could be continuing.

“I would think that that’s a possibility,” Boudreau said.

Meanwhile, Green keeps chugging away, trying to see how his ankle reacts.

“Each day it gets better,” the All-Star defenseman said. “Tomorrow’s going to be better than today and it goes from there.”