The early days and even minutes of NHL training camps can be fraught with injuries. Players are just getting back into game shape, and there's always going to be trouble when athletes are getting back into the swing of things, despite all the off-season workouts.
Washington Capitals forward Brooks Laich learned that the hard way. He left the ice 10 minutes into the first practice of the season and is now "day-to-day" with a strained left hip flexor. Laich also has a lingering groin problem he's recovering from. The injury shortened his season down to just nine regular season games in 2012-13. The two injuries are unrelated.
The injury has been rearing its ugly head a bit for a few days now. "It was actually my first day back in D.C.," he says. "Something I noticed is that the ice here is a lot softer than the ice I skated on back home and when I skated here I just tweaked it a little bit." He also claims that his groin is "100 percent." For now, Laich will likely miss the Capitals pre-season opener against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday in Belleville, Ontario.
Laich has been a key cog in the Capitals lineup ever since debuting full-time with the club in 2005-06. 2009-10 was his best season, when he put up 25 goals and 59 points in 78 games. The 30-year-old's last full season was 2011-12, when he played all 82 games and put up 41 points.