Cast has Kings' Willie Mitchell in recovery mode
Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell, who fractured his left hand on Nov. 6, said Saturday he's still in pain but feels he's making good progress in his recovery.
He skated after the players who will face Detroit on Saturday at Staples Center and was wearing an adjustable soft cast on his injured hand. The cast looked like something borrowed from a torture chamber and made a scratching, screw-tightening sound every time Mitchell turned the knob to customize the fit.
"Getting on the ice now, which is nice," he said. "We've got to make sure everything is healing alright. I'm not even at four weeks here yet. Just kind of doing things and getting my strength back."
The cast is more protective than anything: "I'm at the point where I can do stuff day to day, but when I'm skating, I can protect it in case I fall or something," said Mitchell, who hasn't yet been cleared to grip a stick. "I hope I get back here soon."
The Kings clearly have missed him. Mitchell, who was averaging 22 minutes of ice time per game, said he missed being out there. "That's the tough part," he said. "It will be soon enough, though."
Left wing Alexei Ponikarovsky, who fractured a finger on Nov. 6, also has been skating and could return next week.
More later at www.latimes.com/sports
-- Helene Elliott