Capitals defenseman Mike Green has missed eight of the last 10 games with a recurring groin injury, but was encouraged by his return to the ice for Tuesday morning’s skate. Green last played on Feb. 27 against Philadelphia, aggravating the injury that night.

“I felt okay in practice and then once I got into the game and got hit – the game’s a lot faster,” Green said. “I had unexpected stops and starts and that puts strain on it. And it just wasn’t ready.”

Green admitted he’s still “a ways away.” There is no definite time table for a return. But the days off the ice were spent strengthening the muscle and undergoing dry needling – a therapy similar to traditional acupuncture – and Green believes that has helped speed the healing process. For now it’s a day-to-day process. The next step is a full-contact practice or two. But even after getting back into the lineup – whether that happens next week or next month – it will take a while before he is fully confident this groin issue is behind him.

“He’s been through this so many times,” Washington coach Adam Oates said. “I’m sure that’s going to be between [general manager] George [McPhee], [trainer Greg Smith], Greenie and myself.”

Follow me on Twitter @bmcnally14