Alex Ovechkin is hopeful he will play Saturday against the Islanders

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Ovechkin hopeful he will play Saturday against the Islanders originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Alex Ovechkin returned to practice on Friday and is hopeful he can play in Saturday's game against the New York Islanders. An upper-body injury kept him out of practice on Tuesday and Thursday even with a day off for the team in between on Wednesday.

"You don't want to get hurt, you don't want to feel any pain in your body," Ovechkin said.

Ovechkin said he did not suffer the injury during Monday's game, but that it is something that has been bothering him "for a little bit."

"It's kind of sad but nothing you can do right?" he said.

Ovechkin was not on the ice at all on Tuesday. He came on for practice Thursday but skated off just before it began. His participation in Friday's skate is a good indication he intends to play Saturday when the Capitals travel to play the New York Islanders.

"I thought he looked good. He made it through everything," head coach Peter Laviolette said.

There is no ideal time for an injury, but with four days between games, it allowed more time for Ovechkin to get ready for the weekend. However, the team will have back-to-back games as they return to Washington on Sunday to host the Vancouver Canucks.

That means the question is not just whether Ovechkin can play on Saturday, but if he will feel well enough afterward to turn around and do it again the next day.

"It's his body and he's the one who's dealing with it," Laviolette said. "He made it through today, that's a good thing. He came out there, he looked good"

"See how it goes tomorrow," Ovechkin said.