The Washington Times - March 17, 2013, 05:18PM

Mike Green could return from a groin injury within the next week for the Washington Capitals, according to coach Adam Oates.

Oates said Sunday afternoon that the defenseman will go on the upcoming road trip to Pittsburgh, Winnipeg and New York and “hopefully he’s going to play on the trip.” The Caps face the Penguins on Tuesday, the Jets on Thursday and Friday and the Rangers on Sunday, March 24.

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Counting Sunday night’s game against the Buffalo Sabres, Green has missed 11 of the past 13 games because of this groin problem.

“I don’t really want Greenie to play if he’s not a hundred percent,” Oates said Friday at Boston University.

Green is one of three injured defensemen the Caps are dealing with right now. Tomas Kundratek (right knee) and John Erskine (apparently left hand/wrist/arm) are also out of the lineup.

Kundratek had an MRI on his right knee Friday after suffering the injury Thursday night at the Carolina Hurricanes. The 23-year-old skated for under 10 minutes Sunday morning. Oates wasn’t sure if Kundratek would go on the road trip.

“Encouraged that he could skate,” Oates said. “He’s had that injury before so I’m sure that he was a little nervous. Skating today obviously helps a little bit so we’ll see how it goes.”

Erskine has not skated in a week after getting hurt March 9 at the New York Islanders. There’s no time frame on his return.

“Upper body injury,” Oates said. “Hasn’t healed enough yet to skate.”

Forward Brooks Laich will accompany the Caps on the road trip. He said he’s very close to making his season debut.