Brooks Laich Got Groin Surgery, Shut Down For Season

Photo: Chris Gordon

The Washington Capitals have announced that Brooks Laich has undergone surgery to alleviate his ongoing groin problems. His recovery is expected to take 4-6 weeks, effectively ending his 2013-14 season.

Laich’s injury has been nagging for over two years, costing him most of last season and portions of this one. Last week, Laich met with groin specialist Michael Brunt in St. Louis.

He did not travel with the team to California.

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Licensed under CC

Laich has been struggling to stay in the lineup since suffering a groin injury during the 2012 lockout while playing with the Kloten Flyers of Switzerland. Laich missed all but 9 games of the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season and will miss 31 games in 2013-14.

That is a reversal from Laich’s earlier career. Between 2007 and 2012, Laich played 405 of 410 games.

Laich struggled this season, scoring just 8 goals and 7 assists in 51 games.

Laich has the team’s third longest contract. He is set to earn an average of 4.5M dollars through the 2016-17 season.

Players in long-term injured reserve status are ineligible from compliance buyouts under the new collective-bargaining agreement.


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  • JenniferH

    Well, I’m choosing to be positive. Maybe just maybe this will fix the problem, he will fully, finally recover and we’ll get our money’s worth and get the full Laich when he comes back.

  • Diller M

    If his LTIR is in effect at the end of the season, does that protect him from buy out until next season? If it is the off-season how can you go on or off LTIR? Can they take him off LTIR in the last week and buy him out? This is a very interesting situation. Sad for Laich, greatest guy in hockey, but if he is broken like Poti let’s move on.

  • Diller M

    Groin injuries are the worst, I hurt mine in 2003 and it still gives me problems out of the blue

  • Chip

    I would also be curious if the fact that the original injury occurred over seas if that would affect it too

  • Brouwer Rangers

    Well on the bright side he and you-know-who can’t be paired on a black hole line for the rest of the season!

  • Diller M

    Thats a great point, and the lockout adds a little more intregue

  • Diller M

    I love that that is the bright side!

  • These are good questions. I’ll ask someone who will know more than than I do.

  • Roman Z.

    I hope Brooksie has other skills for Julianne’s sake.

  • Shaun Phillips

    At this point, I have a feeling it’d be considered a separate injury with all of the games he played this season.

  • Shaun Phillips

    If he’s not eligible for a buyout at all (during the off-season), do the Caps even use their remaining amnesty? If so, is that the end of Big John? Inquiring minds want to know.

  • John Atchison

    I have read that the Caps can easily make a case against this injury happening during the lockout, thus nullifying the last statement in the article..

  • John Atchison

    no way, he does not make enough to use a buyout on…

  • Thomas Conner

    Calling it now: Laich retires or gets bought out/retires/whatever at the end of the season, goes on to work for CSN. Later, Brooks Laich and Troy Brouwer take over for Joe B and Locker. #thebank

  • LasagnaSonja

    Unfortunately I saw this coming. I recently did extensive research on groin injuries for a project covering the freauency of groin injuries in hockey players. More than any other sport, ice hockey is the highest in percentage for adductor strains. Once you have even a minor tear of a hip adductor muscle, you are twice as likely to re-injure, & that only increases with every tweak, pull, or strain. Unfortunately the only way to prevent injury is to not do the activity that caused the injury to begin with. Push off, stopping, any skating, bracing for hits (taking & giving), quick as stops or changes in direction, use the adductors. Players with greater than 10 years professional experience are FIVE TIMES more likely to pull an adductor. Even though they have a team of doctors & trainers the adductors are the forgotten muscles of the lower extremity & strengthening them can actually reinjure them. Just an added note for those not familiar! Sorry for another long winded post, : D

  • That’s a great comment. Don’t apologize.

    I’d love to know the range of prognoses for these injuries. Poti is fresh in my mind.

  • Graham Dumas

    [Sad, deflated trombone.]

  • LasagnaSonja

    It is a sliding scale. Esp. when you have a sports hernia, which both Green & Brooks had. Sports hernias are actually just a trick name for a tear in the groin. As you can see, some surgeries are mostly successful (MG) & some are not (BL)! Repairing that area is such a tricky job! My experience is in rehab, so we dont even see them until 6-8 weeks out!! If you are interested for future reference type “hockey player, groin injuries” into google scholar! Great peer review journals!

  • bskillet

    Nooooooo not Joe B. and Locker, can’t imagine the Caps w/o those two now. We have the best + Al and Alan. I would have to get season tickets and live on Peanut Butter sandwiches. But I do agree it’s probably over in Washington for him.

  • Thomas Conner

    Oh I can’t either, but when they DO retire, I hope they hire Laicher and Troy B.

    (Just doesn’t have that same ring to it).

  • maddyjl

    Brooksy and T-Brouw?

  • Thomas Conner

    much better

  • troyerlaw

    It’s a shame because even with the recurrence of the injury, he had started playing his best hockey of the season. His timing and conditioning and confidence were all back. He was playing really well. He wouldn’t skate for two days, and then he’d play a game anyway and score. I feel bad for him. Whether Caps are able to buy him out or not, I certainly hope for a full recovery and a continuation of his career. If nothing else, he will go down in history for changing the tire at midnight after brutal Game 7 loss.

  • Frank

    You can’t buy out Erskine with a compliance buyout, it’s only for contracts that were signed pre-lockout.

  • Shaun Phillips

    Ah. Damn. Didn’t realize his contract was post lockout.

  • Kate Hudson

    why must you use that picture with me and Jess in the background looking like weirdos thx Peter

  • haha didn’t notice that until just now


  • RT23

    4-6 weeks, huh? So assuming all our playoff rounds go 7 games as usual, he’ll be back in plenty of time for the Cup finals, right?

  • VirginiaPatriot

    Maybe she can help speed along the recovery. Just trying to stay positive.