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Injury Sidelines New Defenseman

November 28, 2002|Jerry Crowe

The Kings' push to speed up the announcement of Tuesday's trade with the Florida Panthers backfired Wednesday night when Dmitry Yushkevich, the player they acquired in the deal, was unable to play against his former teammates.

The Russian defenseman was held out of the lineup after doctors discovered a ruptured blood vessel in his right eye, leaving the Kings a player short. Because of injuries, they dressed 17 skaters, one fewer than NHL rules allow.

Meanwhile, defenseman Andreas Lilja and winger Jarolav Bednar, jettisoned by the Kings a day earlier, were in the lineup for the Panthers.

Originally, King Coach Andy Murray said, the clubs agreed to announce the deal during Wednesday night's game, holding the traded players out so they wouldn't have to face their former teams.

But when King defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky suffered back spasms during Tuesday's practice, a recurring injury that sidelined him against the Panthers, the Kings decided they needed Yushkevich right away.

In a pregame physical, however, doctors discovered Yushkevich's injury, suffered Friday in the second period of a 3-3 tie with the Phoenix Coyotes when a slap shot struck his face, breaking his nose and opening a cut on his nose that required about 35 stitches to close. He returned in the third period against the Coyotes, and he played nearly 20 minutes Sunday in a 4-4 tie with the Mighty Ducks.

Yushkevich said he hopes to play as soon as Friday against the Ducks.


Ian Laperriere, suffering from a possible concussion after a Saturday night collision with Derian Hatcher of the Dallas Stars, sat out because of injury for the first time since the 2000-01 season.

Laperriere sat out one game last season to attend the birth of his son.

-- Jerry Crowe

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