Quick still in ‘rehab mode,’ return doesn’t sound close

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Those expecting to see Jonathan Quick back in goal for the Kings anytime soon got a harsh reality check on Sunday.

“He’s still very much in the rehab mode,” head coach Darryl Sutter said, per L.A. Kings Insider. “They’re still talking about a month before he could even begin to say what that next step was.

“It’s not in this [calendar] year before there’s any sort of update.”

Quick suffered a significant groin injury in the first period of Los Angeles’ season-opening loss to the Sharks, and hasn’t played since.

That was on Oct. 12.

Originally, Quick was expected to miss “about three months” with the ailment. Today marks month No. 2 on the shelf, so it’s understandable why Sutter was asked for an update — and without reading the tea leaves too much, it sounds like Quick could miss even more time than first thought.

The Kings have survived without Quick — posting an 14-11-2 record — but have hardly thrived, which isn’t at all surprising. He’s been one of the league’s busiest workhorses over the last three seasons, including a ’15-16 campaign in which he led all NHL netminders in games (68) and minutes (4034) played.

In addition to the Quick injury, backup Jeff Zatkoff has also been hurt for considerable time this season. That’s meant Peter Budaj has become the majority starter and, to his credit, has fared about as well as could be expected. The 34-year-old veteran is 13-7-2 with a 2.18 GAA and .910 save percentage,

Based on Sunday’s news, Budaj and Zatkoff could be in line for even more starts over the next while.

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