- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 10, 2013

Brooks Laich skated alone amid a power outage at the Washington Capitals practice facility. It looked like he was testing out an injury, and by the time most of his teammates got on the ice, Laich jumped off.

Laich reportedly suffered a groin/adductor injury while playing in Switzerland, but in his first comments since arriving back in town, the forward brushed off concern.

“I feel healthy. I feel good. We’ll see,” Laich said. “Just a few things to work on, want to still get better.”

Laich played through a knee injury last season and would undoubtedly try to do so again, if team doctors and trainers let him. But if the 29-year-old is dealing with anything like a groin injury, it’s tough, if not impossible, to play through without making things worse.

When asked if he got hurt while playing for the Kladno Flyers in the Swiss National League A, Laich said: “I don’t want to get into that.”

As for what he was doing on the ice Thursday morning, Laich wasn’t forthcoming.

“Just getting in a little extra work,” he said. “Just making sure that everything’s good to go, that was all. Nothing major.”

Poti skates

Tom Poti was so much of an afterthought given his groin injuries that general manager George McPhee repeatedly mentioned that the defenseman’s career was likely over. But as Poti said earlier this week, he’s skating pain-free and hopes to pass a physical and take part in Caps training camp beginning this weekend.

On Thursday, Poti was on the ice with Caps teammates and still hopeful that the team clears him and gives him an opportunity to practice.

“The fracture’s healed and all that stuff is out of the way,” Poti said. “[They need] to see me on the ice and kind of see what happens with getting hit and skating hard like that every day.”

McPhee on Tuesday called Poti a “long shot” to pass his physical and skate at camp. He also said the Caps could send the 35-year-old to Hershey of the American Hockey League to test him.

Neuvirth on his way

Only three healthy Caps players had not started skating in town this week: goaltender Michal Neuvirth, defenseman Roman Hamrlik and wing Wojtek Wolski. Neuvirth, according to his agent, is here and should skate Friday.

Patrik Stefan said his client flew back to North America from the Czech Republic on Wednesday. Braden Holtby, who is expected to at least start the season as the No. 1 goalie, has been on the ice since Tuesday.

Neuvirth played 24 games during the NHL lockout with HC Sparta Praha in the Czech Extraliga, finishing with a 2.46 goals-against average and .927 save percentage.

Holtby had a 2.14 GAA and .932 save percentage playing for the Hershey Bears.

Ice chips

First-round pick Tom Wilson will be coming to training camp, the Caps confirmed Thursday. With Laich and Backstrom’s statuses uncertain, Wilson is set to play for the Plymouth Whalers on Friday night and travel to the D.C. area Saturday.

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

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