On the night of Nov. 11 when Mike Green left the Washington Capitals' victory at the New Jersey Devils, then-coach Bruce Boudreau downplayed the severity of the defenseman's injury.
"It's a day-to-day thing, and not a three-week day-to-day thing – an actual day-to-day thing," Boudreau said. The next morning, his tone was more ominous.
Green missed almost two months with a groin injury and played just a game and change in January before aggravating it. On Monday, the Caps announced that Green would undergo an abdominal surgery and be out four to six weeks.
Last week when Green was placed on long-term injured reserve, coach Dale Hunter brushed off a question about surgery saying, "He's going to rehab here and get it stronger."
News of Green going under the knife is just the latest in a rough couple seasons for him. The 26-year-old has now missed 66 of the past 134 games with various injuries: groin, ankle, shoulder and concussion.
"Mike has been out a lot, so we're kind of used to that," a somber yet realistic Mike Knuble said last week.
The Caps put Green on long-term injured reserve last week, meaning he was not eligible to return until Feb 1. But even that seemed like a long shot, and now he's not expected to be back until at least mid-February.
In 10 games this season, Green has three goals and three assists and the Caps are 9-1-0.
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