Sun Nov 08 03:15pm EST
(Update 6:45 p.m. EST: The Capitals have released a statement regarding the interview below: "The Washington Capitals dispute the validity of this report.")
Injured Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin(notes) was watching Saturday's game against the Florida Panthers with Mike Green(notes) (also injured) in one of the rooms of the Verizon Center the press box.
He later met with some young fans outside of the locker room to sign some autographs. That's when I got the chance to ask him a few questions about his "upper body injury" and his journey back from it.
Keep in mind Ovechkin didn't indicate if the following "diagnosis" was from team doctors or his own evaluation.
Q. You're in good mood. Are you getting better?
OVECHKIN: I am better. But I will miss 4-5 weeks.
Are you serious?
I actually plan on starting practice on the ice next week.
I know that you did skate already.
Yes, but after I did that the doctors told me not to do that yet. And not to have a stick in my hands.
How do you feel about this all?
I think that it shouldn't be rushed. November has just begun. I need to heal up 100 percent and then play. There is no need to risk right now.
What's it like to watch the Capitals from the sidelines?
Of course it's tough. I want to be in the game. But there is nothing I can do.
Not long ago the Russian National team coach called you. To wish you well?
Yes, Vyacheslav Bykov called to ask how things were. But actually our conversation was right before the game against Columbus when I got injured...
Really? Maybe Bykov shouldn't call you anymore?
It's just a coincidence. Let him call me more often! It's great to know that national team coaches follow you. Once again, I was included in the list of 50 candidates for the Olympics, and a big thanks for that.
I met your friends outside who came over from Moscow to visit you...
They thought they'd see me play. And they see me amongst the injured. So they will have no hockey, but just a vacation in America. It's not that bad too, don't you agree?
This interview also ran on SovSport.ru this afternoon.