Brooks Laich hasn’t played since November 27, and only recently began skating with teammates because of a nagging groin issue. That injury kept Laich out of all but nine of Washington’s games last season, and he’s struggled mightily with the problem again this year. The Capitals have placed the forward on the LTIR list, which means that Laich won’t be able to return until January 22 at the earliest.
#Caps roster moves: Brooks Laich placed on LTIR, eligible to return Jan. 22. Michael Latta recalled and sent Nate Schmidt to Hershey.
— Katie Carrera (@kcarrera) December 15, 2013
Head coach Adam Oates spoke at length about the process for Laich, and how he’s approaching the situation as the team’s bench boss. As per Katie Carrera of The Washington Post:
I didn’t watch him because it’s not a practice and I don’t want to get my hopes up or think team until he skates with the team. We went through this too many times last year and he said to me yesterday, ‘I want to go to Florida and practice with you’. I said, ‘Well if you can’t skate tomorrow for five minutes, no.’ He went out there and I think we’ve all decided he’s not going to go [to Florida] because he needs to be able to get some practices in. We just don’t want to be teased and we don’t want to put him [sic] int hat position himself to maybe rush it to get there.
The Capitals have only had Laich for 25 of a possible 32 contests this season.