The Washington Capitals placed defenseman Mike Green on the Injured Reserve list today after he aggravated a groin injury which has been bothering him for the last few weeks. This is real bad news for Green's fantasy owners considering he has already missed three straight games because of the injury and the shortened season makes missing any time feel twice as painful.
Green was once an elite option at defense in fantasy hockey. He had over 70 points in each of the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 seasons. But those days are long gone and Green has been plagued by injuries for years. He played just 49 games two seasons ago and then laced up for only 32 games last year.
Not only does Green miss a lot of time, but his production has fallen off a cliff even when he is on the ice, most likely due to these injuries taking their toll. In the 49 games played two years ago, Green scored just 24 points. Despite being significantly lower than past production, at least he was still averaging a respectable point every two games. Last season was even worse, however. He scored a mere seven points last season in 32 games!
Many fantasy owners drafted him pretty highly this season with hopes he might rebound to his old self (Green's average draft position among all Yahoo! leagues was round 9.7). He was supposedly healthy but apparently Green is a lot more fragile these days. A groin injury in hockey tends to linger and really hinders performance. Peter Forsberg was plagued by a groin injury the last few years of his career and Mikael Renberg was even forced into an early retirement because of one.
Green will likely play it safe and wait for the injury to fully heal before returning to the ice. He's eligible to come off the IR on Thursday but that probably won't happen. It would be wise for fantasy owners to start looking for a more long-term replacement.