The Washington Times - April 22, 2013, 02:18PM

Joel Ward and Brooks Laich are not skating, and it stands to reason that the Washington Capitals could have to go the rest of the regular season without the injured forwards.

Coach Adam Oates didn’t have much of an update on Ward (bruised left knee) or Laich (groin) when asked Monday morning.

SEE RELATED:


“They made the team picture,” Oates said.

That was 10 a.m., and by the time practice began shortly after, Ward and Laich were nowhere close to the ice.

Ward hasn’t played since taking a shot from Sami Salo of the Tampa Bay Lightning on April 7, and the big right wing skated lightly twice since then.

“Obviously, we thought it’d be probably back by now,” Oates said. “But it just hasn’t gone away.”

Oates said he was hopeful Ward would be able to skate Tuesday. That depends on how the 32-year-old feels when he wakes up in the morning.

Just skating isn’t enough for Ward to be ready for game action.

“He’s got to be able to practice a couple of days and get his conditioning now, obviously it’s been too long a time,” Oates said. “Feel pain-free and be able to skate.”

Asked if Ward could miss time during the playoffs, Oates said: “I wouldn’t go that far.”

Ward seems closer than Laich, who hasn’t skated since suffering another injury April 4 against the New York Islanders. Oates said the 29-year-old forward needs to be pain-free before he skates, let alone plays.