- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Capitals’ injury saga developed slightly Wednesday morning as Alex Ovechkin and Jason Arnott both spent some time on the ice at the team’s practice facility and addressed the media for the first time since their “undisclosed” ailments were revealed.

There’s no certainty when either will be back, though it seems like Ovechkin is further along as he skated with pads for a few minutes Wednesday while Arnott took some leisurely trips around the rink in a warm-up suit. Ovechkin estimated he’d be back in five to seven days but wouldn’t discuss the nature of his injury.

“I think right now we clinched playoff spot and right now all the organization’s focus [is on the] playoffs,” he said. “I think right now is good time to make some rest for my body because I feel something [for] a couple months. Right now, it’s a good time to recover it, and I [will] feel good and be good in playoffs.”

Arnott, who appeared to be stretching something in the lower part of his body as he skated around the rink alone, wouldn’t say what he was working on, uttering only: “Just trying to get back on the ice.” But he admitted it was something he’s dealt with before and that has been building up for a while. A source confirmed that Arnott had a lower-body injury.

“I know what to expect and know what it takes to come back,” Arnott said. “I still wanna come back and get a few games under my belt before the playoffs and get involved with the guys and with my linemates. Hopefully, it progresses well, and I’ll be back.”

Coach Bruce Boudreau said each player’s progress is “probably a little quicker” than expected and offered up some semblance of a time frame.

“It wouldn’t surprise me to see them both playing by the end of next week,” he said.

Neither Ovechkin nor Arnott has practiced fully with the team since being held out, so while Boudreau said one or both might go with the Caps to Canada, it’s unlikely either will play at Ottawa on Friday or at Montreal on Saturday.

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