Brooks Laich underwent sports hernia surgery earlier this month, multiple sources confirmed Sunday.
The Washington Capitals forward reinjured his groin April 4 against the New York Islanders and has not skated since.
General manager George McPhee said Saturday that Laich could return by the second round or “maybe before that though, with this guy. He works as hard as anybody works.”
“He’s doing really well, and great attitude and feels great,” McPhee said. “I hope he’d start skating this week or next. He’s in pretty good shape here.”
The Washington Post first reported Laich’s surgery Sunday morning, citing a source.
The Caps have not commented on Laich’s status. A spokesman said it was team policy not to disclose injuries.
Coach Adam Oates said April 16 that sports hernia surgery was not an option and more recently said he was unsure when Laich would return. At that point it had already been done.
But McPhee’s more specific timeline made it appear that Laich did have the surgery and that the team had failed to reveal that. The 29-year old forward saw two specialists, including the renowned Dr. Michael Brunt, and was considered out indefinitely.
Laich has not spoken to reporters about his injury or status since April 4.
Defenseman Mike Green, not long after Laich reinjured his groin, implied that he recommended his teammate have sports hernia surgery. Green returned 33 days after his operation last season.