Washington Capitals forward Brooks Laich will not accompany the team on its weeklong road trip through California this week and will travel to St. Louis to see a doctor about his ailing groin.
Laich has been hampered by the groin injury in question for the past two years. He missed all but nine games last season and 18 so far this season, including three of the past six games. For the second time in a week, the 30-year-old will visit groin specialist Michael Brunt, who performed abdominal surgery on him last spring.
"We talked and we shut Brooskie down," coach Adam Oates said following the Capitals' 4-2 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs. "Wasn't feeling good. He's going to go to St. Louis and see the same doctor."
According to Oates, it is possible that Laich may undergo a minor procedure if Brunt feels that is the best course of action. If Laich does have surgery, it is likely that he will miss the final 13 games of the regular season.
Laich, considered one of Washington's leaders, has three years remaining on a six-year contract with an annual salary-cap charge of $4.5 million. Considering his failure to remain in the lineup, Laich is a potential candidate for a compliance buyout this offseason. Injured players, however, cannot be bought out.
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