The Washington Times - September 26, 2009, 01:44PM

There was a decent amount of news coming out of Saturday morning’s practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex - the biggest being Michal Neuvirth.

The young goalie left practice after just a few minutes.


“He tweaked something, so better be safe than sorry,” said coach Bruce Boudreau, who wouldn’t specify the nature of the injury. “I haven’t talked to [trainer Greg Smith] about it too much. We’ll see [Sunday] how it unfolds. … We don’t believe it is [serious]. He didn’t come in for treatments [Saturday], just thought he tweaked something.”

It doesn’t appear that Neuvirth injured himself Saturday. He was scheduled to back up Jose Theodore in New York on Thursday but was replaced in that role by Semyon Varlamov.

Varlamov will get the start Sunday at Verizon Center in the team’s preseason finale against the Rangers.

* Defenseman Sean Collins cleared waivers, but the Caps have yet to assign him to Hershey. That’s the likely outcome, a team spokesman said, but Boudreau was noncommittal about making a decision on the defenseman’s immediate future.

“We just thought there was too many guys here to practice. So, we’ll figure out on Monday what to do with him,” Boudreau said. “We’ll make other decisions after the game [Sunday] or first thing Monday morning.”

Check out Sunday’s paper for more on what the defensive picture looks like with Karl Alzner and Tyler Sloan battling in the final days of camp.

* Chris Bourque will be in the Caps’ lineup Sunday, but he certainly isn’t happy about why he has missed almost a week with a head/neck injury. Bourque was on the other end of a dirty hit by Buffalo’s Patrick Kaleta on Monday as he was skating without the puck in his defensive zone.

Bourque didn’t come out and accuse Kaleta of trying to injure him. Still, he was pretty upset about how it happened.

“I saw it on tape, but I was a little foggy there for a little bit,” Bourque said. “With him you never know. I kinda know him, too. I played with him before, and it’d be upsetting if he knew I was there and he saw me. I hope to say he didn’t know, but you never know.”

The aftermath, though, has been worse, with Bourque fighting to make this team.

“You have no idea how upsetting that was. This was probably the one camp that I had a chance to maybe crack the lineup opening night. That’s not gone, but it’s definitely put a dent in my training camp hopes. Especially that way. I can see if it was a clean hit, and if I had the puck or I was anywhere near the puck. But that’s part of hockey. That stuff happens, and sometimes you just gotta battle through it and push through the adversity.”

* Speaking of adversity, injured right wing Eric Fehr is dealing with it every day as he attempts to come back from surgery on both shoulders. Fehr underwent another physical and was unable to gain clearance for full-contact practice.

He did say he thought he was getting close to passing.

“They’re just looking for strength, for me to have the ability to defend myself when I get put in awkward situations or get hit along the boards,” Fehr said. “I just gotta strengthen up a little bit more and hopefully be able to defend myself if something happens.”