Williams’ return `quite likely’

Justin Williams’ recovery from his broken ankle is going to be hard to judge on a day-to-day basis, but it’s safe to say that everyone in the Kings organization is enthused about the progress that Williams has made in the past two months, and today, Terry Murray expressed great optimism that Williams will be able to return before the end of the regular season…

Question: It was a big surprise for me to learn that Justin had started skating. Was a surprise to you, or were you kind of tracking him all along?

MURRAY: “I’m very surprised at how far along he is also. He went to the doctor and got the green light to go on the ice. When that call came to me, from Kinger [athletic trainer Chris Kingsley] that, `Here’s the news,’ I said, `You’ve got to be kidding me.’ Man, and here he is now, public skating, and it just shows the dedication and the hard work, and the hard work the medical staff has done with him.”

Question: As a coach, are you keeping it in the back of your mind that he might be able to play before the end of the regular season?

MURRAY: “Damn right I am, and I’ve been thinking that way all the way through, quite honestly. I have never gone through pieces of paper, writing down lines, where I haven’t put his number over in the corner, as a reminder that this is a player who played very well for us. It’s quite likely that he will be back for us in the last games of the season.”

Question: Realistically, given his injury and recovery, do you have any sense of how many games he might need in order to be really ready?

MURRAY: “That’s a tough call. It just comes down to how much work he’s going to put into it right now. If he keeps pushing it the way he has in the past three weeks, for the next couple weeks here, he can come along pretty quickly. That’s a tough call. Whether he needs to go play a couple games in Manchester or not, I don’t know that.”

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