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Kings' Matt Greene could return in late April

April 18, 2013|By Lisa Dillman
  • Matt Greene pushes New Jersey's Ryan Carter to the ice during the Stanley Cup Finals last season.
Matt Greene pushes New Jersey's Ryan Carter to the ice during the Stanley… (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles…)

ST. LOUIS — Injured Kings defenseman Matt Greene's recovery has progressed enough to allow him to resume skating, and his projected return to the lineup is now set for late April, according to Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi.

Greene skated for 15 minutes Thursday, and later in the day Lombardi said via text that his "projected return is one more month."

The steady defenseman was injured in the season opener against the Chicago Blackhawks on Jan. 19 and required back surgery to repair a herniated disc. Lombardi initially said he thought that Greene would be out for two to three months.

With this latest timetable, the expectation is that Greene would be available for the opening round of the playoffs. The Kings' final game of the NHL's shortened season is April 27, against the San Jose Sharks.

Not only does Greene provide a solid presence on the blue line — and has long been a penalty-killing fixture — he was one of the Kings' assistant captains, an important veteran voice along the way to the team's run to the Stanley Cup last season.

Greene and another injured defenseman, Willie Mitchell, were with the team during its visit to the White House on Tuesday. There have been no projections on a return for Mitchell, who has been dealing with a lingering knee issue. 

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lisa.dillman@latimes.com

twitter.com/reallisa

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