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Mike Green skates with Capitals strength coach Mark Nemish

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Strength and conditioning Mark Nemish stepping onto the ice Thursday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex looked like a good sign. Then injured defenseman Mike Green soon followed.

That’s great news for the Washington Capitals, who are in need for some after two straight division losses in Florida. Green had sports hernia surgery Jan. 17 in St. Louis and was expected to start skating within two weeks.

Even better news is that this was Green’s third straight day on the ice, putting him right on schedule with the plan. Green started on the ice with just Nemish but stayed out there when eight teammates came on.

Green skated for about 25 minutes.

The time frame for Green’s return to the Caps’ lineup was set at four-to-six weeks, which could mean late February or early March. The defenseman is on long-term injured reserve, which gives the Caps some room to work at the trade deadline if they choose to acquire some extra salary.

Green has not spoken to reporters since the surgery, which was designed to repair a tear in his stomach lining that was causing groin problems. He is expected to talk following treatment Thursday afternoon.

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