The Washington Times - May 9, 2013, 02:06PM

Brooks Laich expressed optimism Thursday after his second day on the ice with teammates, even though the Washington Capitals forward still does not have a definitive timeline to return after groin surgery last month.

“Felt really good, certainly better than yesterday: more power, more explosion, more range of motion, functionality, all of that,” Laich said. “Pretty excited right now, felt really good.”

SEE RELATED:


Laich skated a few times on his own and then Wednesday and Thursday with the Caps. He had not been on the ice for almost a month since undergoing what he clarified was a minor groin procedure.

The Washington Post reported Laich underwent sports hernia surgery, and The Washington Times and other local media outlets confirmed that. The 29-year-old forward denied that, making it clear he had an operation but that it was not specifically that one. Laich did not want to go into further detail about his operation until after the season.

Coach Adam Oates said he was “not sure” when Laich would be available to play. His most recent game was April 4 against the New York Islanders.

“I know he skated out there today,” Oates said. “He said he felt a lot better. But a lot of times obviously with him we’re very guarded. But a lot of times you have to wait and see how he feels in the morning.”

Laich said he would still like to get back during the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the New York Rangers, but that would mean being ready to play by Monday at the latest, and that’s only if it goes seven games.

“I’ve still got a little ways to go but I’m really encouraged over what I went through yesterday and what I went through today,” Laich said. “I understand I’m probably not going to make that big of a jump every day, but certainly I’m leaving here today pretty happy.”