Willie Mitchell skated by himself in advance of the Kings’ practice at Toyota Sports Center on Tuesday morning. Darryl Sutter confirmed that it was the first time he skated since leaving Game 6 in the San Jose series after suffering an undisclosed injury while falling awkwardly during a five-on-three penalty kill on April 28.
Sutter played coy when asked about Mitchell’s return to the Toyota Sports Center ice.
“I’m going to go for a little skate, too,” he said.
When asked whether there was “any chance” that Mitchell would play in Game 6, Sutter maintained his poker face.
“A chance? Like, what do you want me to put the odds on?” he asked.
“I mean, he hadn’t skated in two weeks. Even if a player came and told me that he was ready to play tomorrow and he hadn’t skated in two weeks, he’d probably make the same mistake that somebody else would make.”
It should be considered highly unlikely that Mitchell will play tomorrow, given these remarks and the general process of returning from an injury, resuming skating and working up a conditioning level necessary to be valuable in postseason play. Of course, there’s always a healthy dose of gamesmanship at this time of the year, so it should be acknowledged that there is a nonzero chance that the team’s elder statesman could draw into the lineup when the series shifts back to Staples Center.