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John Erskine still not cleared for contact

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Last week, the large ice pack on John Erskine’s left shoulder told a different story than the somewhat optimistic talk about the Capitals defenseman getting cleared for contact sooner rather than later.

He’s getting closer, I’m hoping, every day,” coach Bruce Boudreau said Oct. 18, adding that it could happen later in the week.

It didn’t. Erskine saw doctor Benjamin Shaffer again Saturday but has yet to be cleared to take contact in practice. He said it would probably be another week.

Boudreau was unsure if Erskine would make the trip with the team to Western Canada. The Caps are set to leave for Edmonton Tuesday.

That’s still iffy at this stage. We won’t know till [Tuesday],” Boudreau said.

With Mike Greenlimping around with a twisted right ankle, Sean Collins is being recalled from Hershey as at least an insurance policy. It wouldn’t make sense not to have an extra defenseman on the trip, just in case.

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