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Caps’ Laich (groin) facing tough decision — surgery, or rehab?

Apr 12, 2013, 6:10 PM EDT

Brooks Laich Getty Images

This year has been a nightmare health-wise for Brooks Laich, who has missed 32 of Washington’s 41 games with a reoccurring groin problem.

Now, he’s facing a tough decision:

End the frustration, or grind it out.

According to CSN’s Chuck Gormely, Laich and the Capitals are mulling over two options on how to treat the injury.

One is corrective surgery for the groin — which could end Laich’s season — while the other is letting him rehab his way back into the lineup.

According to head coach Adam Oates, it’s still not clear what direction they’ll take.

“He’s seeing a lot of [specialists],” Oates told CSN. “We’re tying to figure out any way we can to get him on the ice before we go to other steps. They’re still having a tough time identifying exactly what it is.”

Laich missed the first 28 games of the season and has now missed the last four. Surgery would be of the sports hernia variety, but the issue is the four-to-six week recovery period, which could wipe out Laich’s season.

Further complicating things? The fact Washington’s on fire.

The Caps have won six straight and are 8-1-1 in their last 10, moving into sole possession of first in the Southeast Division and third in the Eastern Conference.

Laich could undergo surgery, try to rehab quickly and hope to be back for the second postseason round, assuming the Caps get there.

Or he could sit out a little longer, and aim to rejoin the team at the start of the playoffs.

Either way, according to teammate Mike Green, a decision will have to be made.

“At some point you just have to make a decision,” said Green, who missed five weeks last season after sports hernia surgery. “[Laich's] a strong mental guy and he’ll come out of this if he works hard.”

  1. cameltoews - Apr 12, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    I don’t think the capitals being on fire complicates the situation. In fact, I think it makes it crystal clear. Do the right thing and get the surgery. The team is playing great without you. I do think he is very important player for the organization, but he will better serve them and himself by treating his injury correctly and not making it worse by trying to play through it.

    • mp1131211 - Apr 12, 2013 at 8:34 PM

      I think since surgery isn’t an obvious answer for his medical team, its probably less of a “do the right thing” case and more of a “what is the right thing?” case. Surgery, especially when they can’t identify the problem, could make things worse. If there is any traction in rehab (meaning he is seeing improvement), staying the course might be the better long term solution.

  2. ludacrish05 - Apr 12, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    He should just get the surgery

  3. ravenscaps48 - Apr 12, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    Get the surgery, Brooksie.

  4. blastardo - Apr 12, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    Surgery. Even with the Caps streak he’ll definitely be missed on the second line.

  5. mp1131211 - Apr 12, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    Caps like groin??

  6. therealjr - Apr 12, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    I’ll normally defend Brooksy. He is overpaid and he got a loyalty contract based on being a 50-60 point guy, whereas he’s more of a 40 point guy. Still, he’s versatile and a good team player. That is, until he had to go overseas and ruin his season by getting injured. Guess you can’t just get off the couch (figuratively speaking, he’s no oaf) after 6 months and play high level hockey. Whether the Caps are playing well now or not – and btw a lot of that playing well started when he got back – we’re going to miss him in the playoff push. You shouldn’t have gone overseas if the season wasn’t cancelled Brooksy. Now you’ve let the team and the fans down.

    • mp1131211 - Apr 12, 2013 at 8:37 PM

      That should guilt him better! Are you his jewish mother or something??

      • therealjr - Apr 12, 2013 at 10:37 PM

        I’ll give you points for being funny. That was the calm version. I prefer to be his Italian mother.

        Youes-TUPIDO Broooooooksy! Why ah you gotta go over ah Sweeeserland, riska da whole ah season? FOR WHA??? FOR DA MONNNN-EYYYYY? Now you gotta no groin. Whata you family gonna do? You no good to ANNNNY-ONE wita no groin. Cazzo!

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