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Los Angeles Kings Defenseman Willie Mitchell Participates in First Full Practice Since December Knee Surgery

January 22nd, 2013 at 6:03 PM
By Brandon Der Avanessian

The injury news revolving around the Los Angeles Kings during the early part of the 2013 NHL season has been up and down to say the least.  First line center Anze Kopitar, and veteran defensemen Matt Greene and Willie Mitchell have all dealt with injuries, either heading into the new season, or during Saturday's season opening loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. Mitchell, whose return timetable had been up in the air as of late, took a possible step forward on Monday, going through his first full practice since undergoing knee surgery in December, reports Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times.

Mitchell accompanied the team on its current 3-game road trip, and barring any setbacks, will continue skating with contact in the coming days.

“A little bit of contact yesterday and it’ll get more as we go through the trip," head coach Darryl Sutter said. "That’s why I want him on the trip. He hasn’t played for seven months. It’s going to take some time here.”

Sutter's comments seem to imply that Mitchell is not quite ready, but news of him practicing with contact provides some optimism to an unidentified return date.

As for the other injured players, Kopitar will make an anticipated return tonight against the Colorado Avalanche after injuring his knee during the lockout, while Greene will miss anywhere from a couple of months to the remainder of the 2013 season due to a back injury that will require surgery.

Tags: Anze Kopitar, Darryl Sutter, Hockey, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Kings, Matt Greene, NHL, Willie Mitchell

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