Justin Williams will miss a fifth consecutive game tonight with his “lower-body injury.” Williams has skated for three consecutive days — today for 20 minutes with healthy scratch Trevor Lewis and backup goalie Erik Ersberg — and is expected to rejoin full-team practices after today. Williams today talked about his recovery…
WILLIAMS: “It’s going good. I just feel like I’ve been missing so many games. I’ve been out six days and I’ve already missed four games. … Tonight, I’m not going to go. I’m going to wait until it’s 100 percent. We’ve got some good practices coming up, and we don’t play until Monday, so that’s the decision the training staff (and) the coach made. I’ll get some good practices under me and I should be good to go Monday.”
Williams was also asked about the play of Wayne Simmonds, who has done a strong job in place of Williams on the first line with Anze Kopitar and Ryan Smyth. Terry Murray has said that Williams will return to the first line when healthy.
WILLIAMS: “When everyone is rooting for everybody and everybody is competing, I think that’s really healthy. Wayne has played really well on that line. He’s made some real good strides and shown that he can be an offensive player too. I think he’s played great. I think the team has played great, too, since I’ve been out. So that’s always promising, when you’re out and the team is doing well. Then you don’t push yourself to get back, maybe before you’re ready. I agree with the decisions they made.”
Here’s what Murray said today about Williams’ workout this morning, and the timetable for getting Williams back in the lineup.
MURRAY: “The plan was, only 20 minutes. That was it. He’s not 100 percent. The conversation I had with him was kind of the same scenario I mentioned [in the previous post about Randy Jones]. We get through this game today and then we have an opportunity to get into some good competitive drills, team practices, (then) one game and the same scenario, two more days of practice. So I think it gives him an opportunity to get back, not only for skating and that kind of board-battle game, but now puck skills, get his hands going again and get him back to 100 percent ready to play.”