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Mike Green returns to the ice, then leaves again

Mike Green, Ryan Carter

Washington Capitals’ Mike Green (52) controls the puck despite being hit into the boards by New Jersey Devils’ Ryan Carter (20) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Friday, Nov. 11, 2011, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)


Tonight was supposed to be the first game back for Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green as he recovered from an injured right ankle. While he started his first game in almost three weeks, he was unable to make it through the entire 60 minutes before heading back to the locker room with a limp. CSN Washington’s Chuck Gormley says the injury may have occurred in the first period when Devils forward Ryan Carter checked the Caps defender into the boards and kicked his right leg when skating away.

(Check out the picture for visual evidence.)

Head coach Bruce Boudreau didn’t exactly ease Green back into the lineup either. After leaving near the near the end of the first period (and giving it a go at the beginning of the second), Green racked up almost eight minutes of ice time while he was available. Green looked like we was going to recover when he started the second with a shift on the power play. Unfortunately, he stayed on the bench for a few minutes after his shift before heading back to the locker room.

As usual, Green has been productive for the Caps when he’s been on the ice. The problem is that he hasn’t been on the ice all that much this season. Over the five weeks, Green has only played in seven games this season. The six points in seven games are impressive—but the Caps could use him around more than half of their games.

We’ll keep an eye on Green’s injury as new details emerge. We’ll let you know how serious the setback is for Green and if he’ll be available in the second game of the back-to-back against the Devils in Washington tomorrow night.