No timetable on Jay Beagle returning to Capitals practice

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Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau has not once used the word “concussion” when talking about Jay Beagle’s injury. The day after Beagle got hurt in a fight with Arron Asham that included his being knocked unconscious, Boudreau said other than a fat lip, Beagle was “fine.”

Asked specifically on Friday whether there was any worry about Beagle having a concussion, Boudreau said: “I thought, initially, like everybody else that that’s what it would’ve been. But he doesn’t have any of the symptoms as of now.”

But Beagle has not skated since, and Boudreau said Tuesday he had no idea when the forward would be back on the ice. Asked for an update, the coach said only “he’s smiling in the dressing room.”

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Goaltender Michal Neuvirth did not skate Tuesday, with Boudreau still calling him “day-to-day.” Neuvirth left Monday’s practice earlier because he was in too much pain to skate.

The Caps called up Dany Sabourin Tuesday morning to back-up Tomas Vokoun.

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John Erskine’s time line for getting cleared for contact could be coming to an end soon.

“He’s getting closer. I’m hoping every day. It’s usually at games when you see the doctor,” Boudreau said. “It could be tonight. It could be Thursday.”

Having Erskine around certainly gives the Caps options on the blue line. He’s a physical, bruising defenseman – something that’s lacking in the current lineup.

“He played a lot of games for us last year, was a real integral part of our team,” Boudreau said. “I think it’s important that he’s ready to play that gives us seven good defensemen that you can move people in and out and give people rest that need rest.”

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