Jordan Nolan, who shed his no-contact jersey in training camp and joined the full team for practice this week, is on the verge of returning from an ankle injury suffered while training.
“Just a little off ice [activity] – kind of jumping,” he said of the injury. “Just a leg tweak, so nothing too serious.”
He said it wasn’t one of the dreaded high ankle sprains, which comes with a longer recovery period. (He also said he’s not a soccer player, and this was the first ankle sprain he’s suffered athletically.) Should he receive a clean bill of health and is 100% – a diagnosis that the club said would come Saturday afternoon – he’d be expected to be in the lineup when the Kings face the Colorado Avalanche in Denver on Sunday night.
“We’d like to play him in the altitude there,” Darryl Sutter said.
If that clearance doesn’t come for Sunday’s game, then he’d be expected to make his debut Tuesday when Anaheim visits Staples Center.
“If I can play Sunday, I’ll play Sunday,” Nolan said. “If I can’t, then hopefully Tuesday. Definitely one of the next two preseason games.”
His season preparation would then be accelerated.
“Good to get him three in if we could,” Sutter said. Los Angeles concludes its preseason slate next Saturday against Colorado in Las Vegas.
In any case, a return appears to be in the very near future for the right wing who totaled six goals and nine points in 60 games last year, his fourth NHL season. Should he be in the lineup Sunday, it would be revealed during the rushes at that morning’s skate.
“I feel better every day,” Nolan said. “I’m just kind of waiting for the trainers to tell me when I’m good to go for a game.”