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Mantha Not Ruled Out For Capitals Against Hurricanes On Thursday

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Capitals forward Anthony Matha

ARLINGTON, V.A. — The Washington Capitals could see Anthony Mantha back much sooner than expected, as head coach Peter Laviolette would not rule out No. 39 for Thursday’s tilt with the Carolina Hurricanes. However, he wouldn’t say if it was a true possibility.

Mantha has only played 10 games for the Capitals this season, picking up two goals and four assists. He suffered a shoulder injury on Nov. 4 against Florida that would ultimately require surgery and sideline him for over four months.

The 26-year-old has been making significant strides in his recovery, going from skating on his own to getting back into practices with the group in a powder blue non-contact sweater. On Monday, Mantha was cleared for contact but remains on the long-term injured reserve.

READ MORE ON WHN: Capitals Will Be Without Hagelin Long-Term After Scary Eye Injury

Washington is currently down to 11 forwards. Carl Hagelin will be out for an extended period of time after suffering an eye injury at the end of Tuesday’s practice. Meanwhile, Joe Snively is week-to-week with a lingering upper-body injury.

The Capitals will have 12 healthy full-time forwards to dress if Mantha is indeed ready for Thursday’s matchup. Daniel Sprong is also available and has been a healthy scratch for the last four games.

Laviolette said he would look at options, though, to help fill in for Hagelin, given his significant role on that fourth line with Nic Dowd and Garnet Hathaway and his penalty-killing ability. The team may make a recall from Hershey, who faces Charlotte on Wednesday. Brett Leason and Axel Jonsson-Fjallby are potential options.

Washington is also dealing with a potential injury between the pipes. Ilya Samsonov left Wednesday’s practice with an apparent upper-body injury after taking a shot up high.

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