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Laich not sure when he’ll play following failed return

Washington Capitals v Chicago Blackhawks

Brooks Laich

NHLI via Getty Images

Brooks Laich has dealt with more than his fair share of injuries over the past few years and he’s not sure when his current shoulder problem will be behind him. He already tried to return from the injury once on Nov. 7, but his comeback lasted a single game. After that setback, the 31-year-old forward has been proceeding with caution.

“I can’t keep going … not scared, but timid a little bit, because my body isn’t ready to be out there in the contact and the compete level I’m used to,” Laich told the Washington Post. “Just hope that it gets a little better each day, then one day I’ll find myself back in the lineup.”

Laich has played in just six of Washington’s 18 games this season. He’s been taking shots during practice, but doesn’t feel 100% in that regard yet.

Capitals coach Barry Trotz thinks getting Laich back would help the team assemble four effective lines and he hopes Laich will be available for Saturday’s game against Buffalo. After the delays Laich has suffered along the way though, it’s hard to count on that.

“I don’t want to be a detriment to my hockey team by going back on the ice in a shape that I can’t fully compete,” Laich said. “It’s very tough mentally to sit and wait for this thing to get better, but I try to remind myself that it’s not a groin injury, it’s a shoulder. I can still skate and participate in practice and hopefully I’ll be back soon.”

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