Willie Mitchell Injury: Updates on Kings Defenseman's Status and Return

Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistApril 29, 2014

Los Angeles Kings' Willie Mitchell in action during an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers, Monday, March 24, 2014, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum

Updates from Saturday, May 17

Jon Rosen of lakingsinsider.com provides a key update on Willie Mitchell's status for the Western Conference Finals:

Updates from Friday, May 16

Elliott Teaford of the Daily Breeze and the Los Angeles News Group provides a synopsis of Kings head coach Darryl Sutter discussing Willie Mitchell's availability for tonight's Game 7 against the Ducks:

 

Updates from Tuesday, May 13

Darryl Sutter spoke about Willie Mitchell's status prior to Game 6 vs. Anaheim (via Dan Rosen of LAKingsInsider.com):

Sutter played coy when asked about Mitchell’s return to the Toyota Sports Center ice.

“I’m going to go for a little skate, too,” he said.

When asked whether there was “any chance” that Mitchell would play in Game 6, Sutter maintained his poker face.

“A chance? Like, what do you want me to put the odds on?” he asked.

“I mean, he hadn’t skated in two weeks. Even if a player came and told me that he was ready to play tomorrow and he hadn’t skated in two weeks, he’d probably make the same mistake that somebody else would make.”

Updates from Wednesday, May 7

Rich Hammond of the Los Angeles Register updated Willie Mitchell's status:

Updates from Saturday, May 3

Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times has the latest on Mitchell:

Updates from Wednesday, April 30

Helene Elliott of LA Times reports on what the plan is for Willie Mitchell tonight against the Sharks:

Original Text

There is never an ideal time for an injury, but the magnitude of any health concerns is much higher in the postseason. 

The Los Angeles Kings may find this out the hard way, as Brodie Brazil of Comcast SportsNet in San Francisco pointed out to fans:

Willie Mitchell’s durability was a huge plus for the Kings during the regular season, as the defenseman played in 76 games. While Mitchell only tallied one goal on the year, which isn’t necessarily that troublesome of a number considering his position, he did have a plus/minus rating of plus-14.

SAN JOSE, CA - APRIL 26:  Willie Mitchell #33 of the Los Angeles King collides with Tomas Hertl #48 of the San Jose Sharks preventing Hertl from getting his shot off on goal in the second period in Game Five of the First Round of the 2014 NHL Stanley Cup
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Kings were fighting for their playoff lives in Game 6 of their series against the San Jose Sharks when Mitchell was injured. San Jose won three of the first five games to take a 3-2 lead, but if Los Angeles can force a Game 7 on Wednesday, it could certainly use Mitchell on the back line.

Check back here for more updates as they unfold.