Kings center Anze Kopitar helped the Kings win the Stanley Cup -- and in his… (Arkasha Stevenson / Los…)
The Kings, ramping up for a scheduled Jan. 19 season opener at Staples Center, got some good medical news on Thursday.
General Manager Dean Lombardi said tests confirmed the two-to-three-week recovery period that had been initially projected for center Anze Kopitar, who sprained his right knee while playing in Sweden last Saturday, before the NHL and players’ association reached tentative agreement on a new labor deal.
“Prognosis from Sweden was basically right,” Lombardi said via email.
Lombardi also said Kopitar “was in my office this morning -- looks good.”
Kopitar has led the Kings in scoring each of the last five seasons. Losing him for a long period during a lockout-shortened 48-game schedule could have been a major setback for their Stanley Cup title defense, but missing two to three weeks would not keep him out of too many games.
Ducks winger Bobby Ryan, who was Kopitar's teammate for Mora IK of the Swedish Allsvenskan league, said he was five feet away from Kopitar when the Kings' center was injured.
"It was just one of those weird, tricky plays," Ryan said after the Ducks held an informal practice at the Honda Center. "I think the guy that came to hit him fell. He went forward and backward at the same time, caught up. You could see the knee bend a little bit. Hopefully it’s nothing serious. I’m going to reach out to him tonight. I’ll wish him well and see him on the ice."
The schedule for the Kings -- and the rest of the NHL -- will be announced on Saturday, after the NHL Players’ Assn. ratifies the new collective bargaining agreement. The NHL’s board of governors ratified it unanimously on Wednesday.
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