- The Washington Times - Friday, January 20, 2012

RALEIGH, N.C. — Mike Green flew to St. Louis to have sports hernia surgery because the Washington Capitals had a lot of familiarity with Dr. Michael Brunt.

“This doctor has done some of our players in the past and done real well — Jamie Heward, Chris Clark,” Capitals general manager George McPhee said. “We think he’s the best at this particular surgery.”

It’s a few days later, but it’s worth noting that Green underwent successful surgery Tuesday afternoon and is now back resting in the D.C. area, a Caps spokesman said Friday afternoon. His time frame for a return to the lineup is four to six weeks.

“They put some mesh in there to make the stomach lining stronger. It’s been done a lot the last 10 or 15 years, I guess,” McPhee said earlier this week. “A lot of players are having it done when they have these issues. Some doctors have gotten really good at it. We think Dr. Brunt is the best.”

Green could be back on the ice skating in two weeks, according to McPhee’s estimates based on other players who had this procedure.

Assistant coach Dean Evason had the operation at the tail end of his playing career and gave it a big thumbs up.

“Recovery is basically three, three-and-a-half weeks,” he said. “I was playing again in a month. It was great.”

Vokoun again

Michal Neuvirth stifled the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night at Bell Centre, shutting them out to the tune of 31 saves. But it’s possible he knew well before he took the ice that he wouldn’t be starting Friday night at the Carolina Hurricanes and that Tomas Vokoun would be.

“He told me right after when we landed in Montreal Michal’s going to play in Montreal and I’m going to play in Carolina,” Vokoun said. “It’s nice to know like that. You kind of know what to expect.”

Johansson OK

Center Marcus Johansson had an awkward collision Wednesday night in Montreal and missed the game’s final three minutes. But he was on the ice for Friday’s morning skate at RBC Center in Raleigh and is set to play at Carolina.

He shook off any concern about a possible left leg injury about a half-hour after it happened and did so again Friday.

“Nope, I’m still fine,” he said.

• Stephen Whyno can be reached at swhyno@washingtontimes.com.

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