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Kings' Mike Richards talks for first time since injury

December 10, 2011 |  1:50 pm


King center Mike Richards spoke about the difficulties of exercising the necessary patience in recovering from the head injury he sustained on Dec. 1.

“It’s frustrating watching and not being out there and obviously you want to go there, but you don’t want to come back when you’re not healthy and reinjure yourself,” he said Saturday in El Segundo. “As much as you want to be out there, you have to be smart about things.”

He made his first comments since the injury, speaking to The Times and Rich Hammond of Richards skated for a few minutes Friday after practice but stayed off the ice on Saturday.  

Richards suffered the suspected concussion late in the second period against Florida. But the Kings have not used that word to describe the injury. Of note is that this did happen to Richards previously when he was with the Philadelphia Flyers.

“I’ve been injured like this before,” he said. “Like I said, it’s just time. It’s nothing you can rush. It’s a hurry-up-and-wait sort of thing.”

The Kings open a four-game trip Tuesday in Boston. Richards said he won’t make the start of the trip but is hoping to join his teammates along the way.

Kings Coach Terry Murray talked about the pros and cons of Richards making part of the trip with the team.

“That’s such an area of unknown” Murray said. “Traveling, being around a lot of noise, or a lot of people asking every day how you are doing. It’s hard. That’s probably the cons against it.

“On the other side of it, you probably just continue to work out with the team. And you’re around the team. And that’s pretty comforting. I think that’s up to the doctors and the medical staff to make that call.”

Richards talked about getting back on the ice on Friday.

“Obviously it’s something that you’re used to playing every day,” he said. “And going out there and having fun. It’s just not the same. You’re not with the guys in the dressing room. You always feel like you could be doing more.

“Like I said, you don’t want to push things. But it’s not the same, not being there with the guys on the ice and having fun. Just enjoying why you’re here and how much fun hockey is.”

Away from the rink, Richards said he is not doing much. He has been watching some tennis and, adding, with a smile, “I’ve probably watched more hockey in the last week and a half than I think I’ve ever done during the season.”

--Lisa Dillman

Photo: Kings center Mike Richards squares off with Sharks center Joe Pavelski in the third period of a a game at Staples Center on Nov. 28. Credit: Chris Carlson / Associated Press