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Green still not ready, but Caps say he’s very close

Calgary Flames v Washington Capitals

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 04: Mike Green #52 of the Washington Capitals reacts during the second period of an NHL game against the Calgary Flames at Verizon Center on November 4, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

There was some hope that Mike Green might play for the Washington Capitals against the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight, but that’s not the case.

On the bright side, knowing so early allowed Barry Trotz to plan things out so Green has the best chance to return healthy (whenever that may be), as the Washington Post reports.

“If Mike feels that he’s probably not ready for tomorrow, I’m going to keep him back,” Trotz said on Monday. “If not, I’d rather him have a really good day of just conditioning and get some therapy and some strength work and that on the rehab, than make the trip and have a late-morning skate. We can skate him, but we don’t have quite the facilities there as what we do here.”

The 29-year-old seems to be on the same page with his team and his coach, emphasizing that he’d rather avoid any setbacks instead of rushing to return from an injury he suffered on Nov. 22.

Green told the Washington Post that Monday was “the first day I could actually shoot, really push it,” so that’s a positive sign, especially for a blueliner who still possesses one of the NHL’s most dangerous shots (at least among defensemen).

As this post discusses in greater detail, the Capitals are a better team with Green, yet it’s a long season and the injury-prone defenseman knows all too well about how much nagging issues can plague a campaign.

After tonight’s road game against the Lightning, the Capitals play at home on Thursday and Saturday. They finish 2014 with a road-heavy haul (six of seven away), so the team would probably be happiest to get Green up to speed once they hit that rougher patch.

Follow James O’Brien @cyclelikesedins