A long-awaited return

Alec Martinez played his first NHL game on Oct. 3 and now, more than two months later, he will get another crack at it. In between, Martinez suffered a freak ankle injury and, when he finally got healthy, got assigned to Manchester. Now, with Jack Johnson and Randy Jones out of the lineup, Martinez will get another shot, in a pairing with Davis Drewiske.

Martinez, who again will wear No. 53 tonight, got on the ice with the Kings this morning and afterward, talked about being back…

Question: You had to wait a long time for your second NHL game…

MARTINEZ: “It’s been a while, between my ankle and just rehabbing that for a while. It was nagging me, but it’s good to be back playing again.”

Question: How exactly did that ankle injury happen?

MARTINEZ: “I was actually doing practice after practice, with Harpo (Mark Hardy), and I was just going back for a puck and I just caught a rut in the ice and just kind of blew a wheel and went feet-first into the wall and kind of cranked my ankle a little bit. It was kind of a freak thing, but it’s a part of the game sometimes, and you’ve just got to deal with it.”

Question: Just one of those high ankle sprains that take forever to heal?

MARTINEZ: “With those, sometimes you’re almost better off breaking your ankle. They just take so long to heal. It was good to get that out of the way and get playing again.”

Question: Have they talked to you about what they expect from you tonight?

MARTINEZ: “I haven’t really talked to them. I haven’t been in town very much. I got in at like 11 o’clock last night, so I pretty much had a half-hour, 40 minutes, to get back to the hotel and get packed up and stuff. Then I was in a car to go to Boston and on a plane. I haven’t really heard much yet, but I imagine there will be something said before the game.”

Question: Did you partner with Drewiske last season in Manchester?

MARTINEZ: “Yeah, we actually played a little bit together. Not for a real long period, but enough where I’m pretty comfortable with him.”

Question: And you’ve had a lot of injuries down there as well…

MARTINEZ: “It’s great that we’re able to keep winning, both up here and down there. I don’t know, I’ve never seen anything like this before, so many injuries in one organization, but it’s good that we’re battling through and getting some more marks in the `W’ column.”

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