The Washington Times - May 15, 2013, 04:15PM

Martin Erat suffered a dislocated left elbow in Game 4 of the Washington Capitals’ series against the New York Rangers, he said Wednesday.

The 31-year-old left wing said he would’ve been ready for the second round of the playoffs had the Caps advanced.

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“I feel better,” Erat said two days after Washington was eliminated. “It’s kind of sad, you know, when I was getting ready to go back and I’m not going to be able to.”

Erat was injured late in the first period of Game 4 as he tried to chase down Derek Stepan on a breakaway. Alex Ovechkin was barreling down on the play, too, and came crashing in on Erat and Stepan.

“I try to catch the guy, he hold me underneath the elbow and when Ovi came through, my elbow just couldn’t handle it,” Erat said.

No surgery is required. “Just rehabilitation,” Erat said, “get it straight and hope in a couple weeks it’s going to be OK.”

Erat never got much of a chance to make an impact on the Caps, who acquired him from the Nashville Predators at the trade deadline for 2012 first-round pick Filip Forsberg. Erat suffered a left knee injury on a hit from Florida Panthers defenseman Erik Gudbrandson early in his second game in Washington and missed three games.

He had just one goal and two assists in the regular season and was able to play just three-plus games in the playoffs against the Rangers. Erat would have liked to play through it, but that was not possible.

“It’s just about the feel because it’s the bottom hand, on my stick,” he said. “It means I have to have it straight all the time and it’s mean if it be upper hand I would probably be able to play but with bottom hand it was different.”