Laich: Re­cov­ery process is ‘the hard­est thing’

The Washington Post Sunday - - NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE - Ex­cerpted from wash­ing­ton­post.com/cap­i­talsin­sider

Brooks Laich al­ways played through what­ever bumps, bruises and even the more se­vere ail­ments that popped up. He sim­ply re­fused to be side­lined or miss any sig­nif­i­cant amount of time.

But for the first time in his eight-year NHL ca­reer, Laich can’t will him­self back into the Washington Cap­i­tals’ lineup. The groin in­jury he suf­fered in Novem­ber while play­ing in Switzer­land dur­ing the lock­out lin­gered, lead­ing to an ar­du­ous re­cov­ery process that is test­ing his re­solve.

“It’s been the hard­est thing I think I’ve ever gone through in my hockey ca­reer,” Laich said Satur­day. “There’s a lot of in­juries you can play through and I’ve played through a lot in my ca­reer.

“But a lot of those are just about han­dling the pain, but you are still able to be ef­fec­tive if you can con­trol the pain. The in­jury that I cur­rently have is a lit­tle dif­fer­ent than that. If I was on the ice, I wouldn’t be ef­fec­tive for our team; I wouldn’t be able to help our team win.”

No mat­ter how badly he wants to play, be­ing a li­a­bil­ity for the Cap­i­tals on the ice is not an op­tion for Laich.

“I would never try and play through an in­jury when I would be sub­tract­ing from our team,” Laich said. “That is too self­ish.”

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