Of the Los Angeles Kings Willie Mitchell (upper-body injury) but a healthy scratch, Dustin Brown (ill) and Jonathan Quick long-term injured reserve (grade two groin strain injury), are all taking steps to make their returns.
Willie Mitchell suffered a hit with 3:22 remaining in the first period during the game against the Ottawa Senators, from Chris Neil. Mitchell left the ice and headed to the Kings dressing room. He returned and played a good amount of minutes but in the third period it was announced his return was uncertain and the injury was upper-body. In the game against Chicago the LA Times reported that Mitchell will not play because he is “ill” Sutter described the illness to be form the hit he took. It was later announced that he had a upper-body injury. Mitchell has been practicing with the team and is in Nashville with them partaking in line rushes alongside Slava Voynov and Robyn Regehr.
In 33 games this season Mitchell has four assists and a plus-6 rating.
Jonathan Quick, the only Kings player on injured reserve, skated twice at the Toyota Sports Center while the team was in Eastern Canada about two weeks ago. When the team returned he also took some shots during this week’s practices. Quick hasn’t played or traveled with the team since suffering a grade two groin injury during the overtime of a 3-2 shootout loss at First Niagara Center against the Buffalo Sabres on November 12.
The estimated return of the former Conn Smythe Trophy winner is projected to be Christmas but there is no official date to when he will be activated. However Pierre LeBrun of ESPN tweeted “FYI Kings GM Dean Lombardi says Jonathan Quick remains on schedule to return first week of January.”
Quick has played 16 games, 10-5-0, with a Goals Against Average of 2.35 and a Save Percentage of .905. This is Quick’s first year playing in his10-year, 58-million dollar contract.
In the game against the Dallas Stars on Monday December 23, where the Kings lost 5-2 at STAPLES Center, Dustin Brown did not make it to practice and did not play because he was “ill”.
Brown was in an awful position of debilitating stomach ailment. The uncomfortable place he was in kept him away from his teammate and near the toilet. Brown is still uncertain if it was the stomach flu, a virus, food poisoning or something else entirely. All he knows is he has never been that sick and was unable to hold down any liquids losing 13 pounds in 24 hours. Gatorade helped him get back on track. Brown added he hasn’t had a full meal since the illness but joined the team at practice on December 27 in Bridgestone Arena alongside Justin Williams and Jarret Stoll.
He told Jon Rosen of lakingsinsider.com “Today was tough, but I think today was tough for everyone, just because with three days off, it’s hard coming off that,” he said. “I’m hoping to just get a meal in. I’m going to force a meal down tonight, because I need to. Hopefully that’ll give me energy, plus sleep. I’ve been sleeping pretty solid, too, just because I have no energy. I think the food’s the most important thing tonight.”
Brown hopes that after Fridays practice he will work up an appetite and build energy for Saturday game against the Nashville Predators. Brown is expected to play Saturday.
In 37 games Brown has 13 points (7G-6A) and a plus-15 rating.
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