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Caps’ Orlov continues to struggle with surgically repaired wrist

New York Islanders v Washington Capitals

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 28: Dmitry Orlov #81 of the Washington Capitals watches the game from the bench against the New York Islanders at the Verizon Center on February 28, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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As the seven-month mark since he went under the knife fast approaches, Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov continues to struggle with his surgically repaired wrist.

According to Alex Prewitt of The Washington Post, Orlov’s recovery has plateaued.

The initial recovery period for Orlov’s wrist was 4-6 months.

However, Orlov was setback first by an infection in the wrist and then repeated stages of stagnancy in the recovery process.

“That’s the long part of the game,” he said. “Hard to stay positive. You can practice every day, do the same thing, and not playing. We’re hockey player. We love the game, we love to play. I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Orlov suffered a broken wrist while playing for Russia at the World Championships. In May, the 23-year-old underwent surgery, which included pins being inserted into his wrist.

“Nothing worse, but slow,” Orlov told the Post. “Sometimes it just stuck and stay and nothing happen. Slow, slow, slow all the time. I’m happy it’s not making less or going back. The doctors told me four-six months. I got an infection, set me back. I think right now, I should be a little bit farther right now with my wrist, my extension. We’ll see.”

Orlov began skating on his own and in November rejoined his teammates for practice in a yellow non-contact jersey.

Neither Orlov nor the Caps know when he may return to game action.

“Nope, just skating every day with us,” Coach Barry Trotz said. “Getting better. He’s hit a little bit of a plateau, which is frustrating for him, and frustrating for us a little bit. He’s been skating a long time. You can only skate so much in practice before you want to play. And he’s just not there yet.”

With the recovery process taking longer than expected, the question of whether he requires a second procedure is now being asked.

“With the medical staff, they’re looking at okay, we’re getting a little frustrated, what are our options, how can we get past that? I think they’re just exploring every avenue that’s out there,” said Trotz. “Once they do that, then the next thing will be making a decision and going down that path and trying it.”

Originally the Capitals second round selection (55th overall) in 2009, Orlov has appeared in 119 games with Washington over three seasons scoring six goals and 31 points to go along with a plus-5 rating.

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