The Kings held an optional skate Wednesday, and most of the players took the option to do something else. Injured defenseman Willie Mitchell hit the ice, though. He couldn’t say afterward when he might be sound enough to rejoin the Kings’ lineup. He sat out Tuesday’s win over the Oilers because of an unspecified upper-body injury. “It was good, it was encouraging, just keep progressing,” Mitchell said.
Is pain tolerance the main issue?
“Yeah, I think so,” Mitchell said before launching into an extended explanation. “I got injured last game (Sunday against the Chicago Blackhawks) and went back out there because I didn’t have my defense partner logging too much ice time. But it’s a fine line between doing that and also being a liability. You don’t want to be a liability either. So, you can’t play because you don’t have the strength to battle and do the things we do as defensemen, you don’t want to be out there doing that either. So, that’s why I decided it was time to leave. The last couple of days I was getting a little bit of rest and, hopefully, I’ll be back at it.”