Anze Kopitar ruled out, Willie Mitchell skates, Justin Williams skips practice

Friday’s training camp report …

Injured center Anze Kopitar won’t play in this Saturday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks, Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. Kopitar skated with his teammates for a third consecutive day, but his sprained right knee isn’t sound enough to allow him to play in the lockout-delayed season opener at Staples Center.

Kopitar was injured two weeks ago while playing for a Swedish club team during the lockout. He was fitted with a brace to protect his knee and skated on his own Monday and Tuesday before joining his teammates for workouts Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. There is no timetable for his return to the lineup, however.

Jeff Carter is expected to move from the wing to center to replace Kopitar.

Mitchell skates

Veteran defenseman Willie Mitchell took a 20-minute “twirl” around the ice, as he phrased it, after his teammates concluded their practice. He underwent surgery to mend torn meniscus in his knee about seven weeks ago and he won’t play against Chicago.

Mitchell suffered a setback when he said he over-extended himself during a pair of workouts just after Christmas. He said he intends to “do it in a more controlled manner this time.” But there is no timetable for his return to practice with his teammates or to play in a game.

“I’m tired of working out, just like everyone was when they first started,” Mitchell said of his off-ice routine the last few weeks. “I’m learning. I’ve never had anything wrong with my knee before, but I’m learning about inflammation. I’m trying to keep the inflammation out of there and try to progress.”

Williams ailing

Right wing Justin Williams was ill and didn’t attend practice, Sutter said. The Kings, including the coaching staff, got flu shots recently. Sutter didn’t say whether Williams could play against the Blackhawks.


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