The Washington Times - May 31, 2008, 06:24PM

Some of what I wrote yesterday about Caps captain Chris Clark got cut because of space constraints (but I should point out there were two full hockey stories in our paper on the last day of May).

Here’s the rest of it: Chris Clark said yesterday he is “almost 99 percent sure” he will be ready for training camp in September. The team’s captain missed all but 18 games last season with first a lacerated ear and then a strained groin tendon. Clark attempted to come back from the groin problem on several occasions but could not.

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He said he is five weeks into a three-month plan to rehabilitate the injury. He is completing the rehab in New York but will also travel to Vancouver for part of it before returning to the area a few weeks before camp starts in early September.

“I haven’t been on the ice since the season ended, but it is getting stronger. That will be the ultimate test,” Clark said. “I will go on the ice for the final month. I assume I’ll be ready [for training camp] and I have a lot of confidence that I will be – although I also thought I was going to be ready in January. Still, I am almost 99 percent sure I’ll be ready.”

Having Clark healthy in September would be huge for the Caps. There were certain components missing from the team’s offense last season, and almost every time the simple answer was, ‘If Chris Clark was healthy …’ or ‘If they had a guy like Chris Clark …’

- Corey Masisak