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Mike Green makes more progress; status for Caps' road trip uncertain

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There’s no official word on whether Mike Green will accompany the Washington Capitals on their road trip this weekend. But there’s a good chance that when they’re leaving on a jet plane Thursday, the defenseman will be on board.

Green skated a full practice Wednesday and again reported good things.

“I’ve got to get my lungs back, but overall I felt good,” Green said. “Another day that’s in the right direction and we’ll go from there.”

Green bristled at a follow-up question about whether he was going on the road trip, and coach Dale Hunter confirmed no decision had been made yet. A final determination will be made Thursday before the flight to Fort Lauderdale, but Wednesday’s progress was a good sign.

“I thought he looked pretty good. He was skating well and we worked him on the power play and he moved well up top,” Hunter said. “He looks good, but we’ll have to wait and see tomorrow.”

Green felt good about his stride, now four weeks after sports hernia surgery. But he can still feel after-effects from the operation.

“Oh yeah. Absolutely,” Green said. “You definitely feel it, but as far as strength and durability, it’s strong. That’s all that matters.”

As for what he needs to see out of Green before putting him into the lineup, Hunter was blunt.

“When he says he feels that he can,” the coach said. “He gets the conditioning back and strength in his lower body and he says he’s ready to go and [trainer Greg Smith] does, too. And we’ll be ready.”

It seems like a long shot for Green to play Friday night at the Florida Panthers, though if he does, Saturday night’s game at the Tampa Bay Lightning might not seem like the right encore.

“If he does play, I don’t know if he’ll play back-to-back anyways,” Hunter said. “But it’s a day-to-day thing, so we’ll know more tomorrow how he feels. Every day is going to be a day-to-day thing, really, seriously, it’s going to be.”

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