Washington Capitals center Mikhail Grabovski, hampered by a sprained left ankle, fully participated in practice Monday for the first time in nearly a month.
The 30-year-old has missed 20 of the past 21 games with the injury, originally suffered on Jan. 24 against the New Jersey Devils and aggravated on Feb. 27 against the Florida Panthers in Washington's first game following the Olympic break.
“Feel better, feel excited,” Grabovski said. “I don’t know right now, just felt a little bit better. First practice with the team, we’ll see this week how I’m going to feel and what coaches have to say.”
Considering Grabovski's lengthy absence, it will likely take several full practices before coach Adam Oates reinserts him into the lineup. Oates, however, did not rule out a potential return Saturday against the Boston Bruins.
Grabovski's presence in the lineup has been sorely missed and there is still work left to be done as he must build strength back in his ankle, but his return to practice was certainly encouraging.
“Not pain but just not comfortable a little bit. I still have tape, I tape my ankle but every day better and team help me recovery faster,” Grabovski said. “Little bit nerves today because guys kind of push me a little bit. They joking but it helps me be in team, feel the team around. Right now really excited to just skate, it was really positive to see my friends on the ice.”
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