Will we see Justin Williams in the first round of the playoffs? It seems quite probable. What about Scott Parse? Given that Parse hasn’t played since mid-November — his last game, incidentally, was against San Jose — because of a hip injury that required surgery, it would be something of a surprise to see Parse back on the ice in the first round. Still, Parse participated in this morning’s full-team practice and seemed to be skating well. Afterward, in a brief chat, Parse said he didn’t have any timetable for a possible return but said he was optimistic. A bit later, Terry Murray indicated that Parse is essentially in the same category as Williams, meaning that if the players pronounce themselves ready to go, Murray will look at whether to put them in the lineup…
MURRAY: “It’s probably going to come to him [Parse], same as we’re talking about with Williams. He wanted to participate in the practice today. That’s a very positive move on his part. I think, from the medical side of it, he’s got a green light to push it. There’s no restriction right now, so we’ll get him through the next couple of days of practice and we’ll see how his body is reacting and have a talk with him. That’s about all I know.”
Going back to Williams for a moment, Murray was asked about Williams’ previous attempt to return from a late-season injury. In Dec. 2009, Williams suffered a serious leg/ankle injury — apparently very similar to the one Anze Kopitar suffered last month — and Williams returned late in the regular season but was largely ineffective. Murray was asked today if he had similar concerns about a Williams comeback this time. The difference, of course, is that Williams’ injury last year was a leg injury. Conditioning, skating ability, etc., should not be an issue this time around, with a shoulder injury.
MURRAY: “I think his injury last year was just so severe last year that he just lost too much strength, too much power to be able to get back to full strength and play the game the way he wanted to play. This is totally different to me. He’s been working out, basically since the day he injured himself, doing the aerobic, the leg-work, the power and strength work off the ice, and now skating quite a bit here recently. He didn’t let his body get away from that kind of conditioning level that’s important in order to step in again.”