The Washington Capitals playoff hopes were rocked with a devastating blow today, as it was announced that key defenseman Mike Green is set to miss the next four to six weeks after undergoing abdominal surgery.
Through 10 games of the 2011/12 season, Green has posted three goals and added three assists for six points. With the 22-year-old in the lineup, the Caps have gone 9-1-0; without him, the record stands at 15-16-2.
Green's injury woes began towards the end of last season, when on the 6th of February he was struck in the temple by a shot in the 3-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. The injury limited him to 49 games.
Green appeared in the first seven games of this season, before twisting an ankle against the Detroit Red Wings on October 22nd. He returned on November 2nd against the New Jersey Devils, but strained his right groin in an injury that would keep him out until January 3rd. After just two games back in action, Green aggravated his groin injury, and has not played since.
With Green out, the Caps will likely turn to Czech 22-year-old Tomas Kundratek, who has filled in admirably over the past three games, as a trade appears imminent to send Jeff Schultz out of the district, and John Erskine has struggled to regain his form of last season. Kundratek will continue to skate alongside fellow Czech defenseman Roman Hamrlik.