The Washington Times - March 20, 2013, 04:10PM

PITTSBURGH | Mike Green said he’ll play Thursday at the Winnipeg Jets after missing time with a groin injury, though Washington Capitals coach Adam Oates was less definitive about that.

“Obviously we need Mike. We’ve got to make sure he is ready,” Oates said Wednesday. “I know he wants to play, but we’ve gone down this path before. He was ready to play last time and it lasted two days.”

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Green has missed the Caps’ past 10 games and 13 of 15. He came back from the original groin injury and played two games before being forced back out of the lineup.

Green said he was able to play and expressed no concern about this back-to-back Thursday and Friday.

“This is taking the safe route,” the defenseman said. “At some point you’ve got to make a decision, and [Thursday] I’m ready.”

Green has missed 93 of the Caps’ past 193 regular-season games over the past two and a half seasons.

“The worst thing is sitting and watching,” he said. “I just wish that I could put together a full season here and stay healthy, but it’s been tough. When you go through a stretch of injuries, it seems like it snowballs a little bit, and hopefully it’s all over.”

If Green is able to return, the Caps would need to make a roster move. They could send defenseman Steve Oleksy back to the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League, but it’s uncertain that they will do.

Forward Brooks Laich said Green had been cautioning him not to rush back from his own groin injury.

“He’s been talking to me more,” Laich said. “But Mike’s going to be a big edition to the lineup. We need him back in. He really helps our back end; not only defensively but offensively. Also could limit some of the minutes that John [Carlson has] been having to play; it’s been a big load for John, too.”