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Injured Green leaves practice early

Nashville Predators v Washington Capitals

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 20: Mike Green #52 of the Washington Capitals skates against the Nashville Predators at the 1st Mariner Arena on September 20, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Predators defeated the Capitals 2-0. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Injured Capitals defenseman Mike Green couldn’t make it through practice today. reports that “Green took a few spins around the ice and apparently felt enough pain to pull himself off the ice.”

Green has missed three straight games with a sprained ankle. Yesterday he said all he needed was “one good practice” before he’d feel comfortable enough to return. Today’s probably doesn’t count then.

Washington plays Friday in Carolina and Saturday on Long Island, then comes home to play Dallas on Tuesday.

The Caps sure haven’t looked great in their own end without Green, surrendering 13 goals in the three games he’s missed. While he isn’t exactly known as a shut-down guy, that doesn’t mean he’s not important defensively.

“One thing that makes his defense really good is his ability to get the puck out of the zone,” Caps d-man Karl Alzner said earlier this week, as reported by “He’s not like a lot of us, me in particular -- I know when I’m under pressure I normally just put it off the glass and out of the zone, or I rim it out. If he’s under pressure, he will hold onto it for an extra second and make a pass out of the zone.”