There was good news surrounding L.A. Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell on Wednesday, as he took part in an optional practice.
As per L.A. Kings Insider, it was the first time he’s hit the ice since leaving Saturday’s game against the Ottawa Senators when he took a hard hit from Chris Neil.
Mitchell, who suffered an upper-body injury as a result of the hit, came back in the second period, but then sat out the third. There was some speculation perhaps it was a concussion, especially since he has a history with concussions throughout his career.
“It’s kind of a fine line between doing that and then also being a liability. You don’t want to be a liability either,” said Mitchell, as per L.A. Kings Insider.
“If you can’t play because you don’t have the strength or battle and doing all those things you do as a defenseman, then I don’t want to be on the ice doing that either. That’s why I decided it was time to leave. The last couple days, it’s just getting a little bit of rest and I’ll hopefully be right back at it.”
Mitchell, 36, has played 13 seasons in the National Hockey League. In 33 games this season, he has four assists.
The Kings host the San Jose Sharks in a Pacific Division battle on Thursday. The Kings currently lead the Sharks by two points for that second spot in the ultra competitive division.