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March 4, 2011 2:05 pm

Bloodied and swollen, Mitchell plays on

Willie Mitchell’s modeling career will have to be put on hold for a while. Mitchell needed approximately 40 stitches to close three different cuts around his left eye last night after he was struck in the face by a Kyle Turris wrist shot. Mitchell missed the second period but then returned and was able to practice this morning — with a visor, which he typically does not wear — despite the fresh stitches and some notable swelling. The Kings keep at least one doctor on hand, for every game, who is a plastic-surgery expert, and last night there happened to be two at the game. “It’s L.A., right? Lots of plastic surgeons around,” Mitchell joked, then added that, all things considered, he felt fortunate about the way things turned out.

MITCHELL: “I could have done without it, but it can always be worse, right? I kind of saw it at the last second. It wasn’t the best play by him [Turris]. He knew it, and he apologized to me after. It’s not like he had pressure, and he was like four feet, five feet away from me. I’m just lucky my eye was all right.”

Then, referring to the concussion issues that cost him nearly half of last season, Mitchell said, “To be honest with you, I hate to keep reassuring myself with this stuff, but to get hit in the head like that, with the puck, and to have my head be good, I was pretty happy about that, after what I’ve been through. You don’t want to go through this in order to reassure yourself that your head is all right, but to get hit with the puck that hard, and not have an ill effects, it was something to be happy about.”

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