Washington Capitals head coach, Adam Oates, admitted this week that center Brooks Laich was not fully recovered when he originally returned to the lineup back on Mar. 19 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Oates reported that it was more fatigue than pain at the time. Laich missed the first 28 games of this abbreviated season from injuring his groin while playing for Switzerland during the NHL lockout. He then further aggravated the injury on Apr. 4 against the New York Islanders with what the Capitals were calling a lower body injury.
The Capitals are unsure as to when Laich will return to the lineup, but its highly unlikely that it will be anytime during the remaining five games of the regular season. Oates also told the media that surgery is currently not an option and that Laich, in the meantime, will be working hard to be pain free before he makes his next return to the ice. The playoffs may be a realistic goal for his return, but it would seem it will take alot of work since Laich has been seen around Washington’s training facility favoring his right leg.
Regardless of when he will be back whether it be the post-season or next season, the Capitals will certainly miss Laich’s versatility as a player and strength as a leader.