Clifford likely out, Richardson improving

As with most optional skates, the Kings’ practice crew today was limited mostly to the young players, plus veterans Matt Greene and Dustin Penner. There was no sign of Kyle Clifford, who missed Game 2 with an “upper-body injury’’ after he went head-first into the boards in Game 1, courtesy of a hit from Vancouver Byron Bitz. Asked about the possibility of Clifford playing tomorrow in Game 3, Darryl Sutter said, “Probably not. He’s got to skate, right? He’s not skating yet.’’

That makes Brad Richardson’s status all the more important. Richardson skated today, five days after he underwent an emergency appendectomy. Richardson almost certainly won’t play tomorrow, meaning that Andrei Loktionov is once again likely to get the call in Clifford’s fourth-line spot. Richardson is making progress, though, and gave an assist to his mother, Jan, for helping out…

Question: How are you feeling?

RICHARDSON: “Better than I was Monday, I guess. I was feeling pretty rough. It was pretty nice, though. My mom was here, and she’s the one that diagnosed it. She was a nurse for, like, 20 years. I was lucky. She was here at the right time. I just felt some pain on Sunday. We had a day off Sunday, and I just woke up and felt some pain on my right side. I called the doctors and my mom was feeling around and she said, `Yeah, I think it’s your appendix.’ Even the doctors weren’t sure if it was or not, and then I had some tests and it was, so I had the surgery Monday night.’’

Question: It was arthroscopic?

RICHARDSON: “Yeah, it was. I’m feeling a lot better than I was. Obviously I was on the ice for a little bit today, so I felt OK. It’s still a little sore, but that’s the way it is when they move stuff around in there like that.’’

Question: Do you know when you might be able to play?

RICHARDSON: “I’m just taking it day by day. There’s no real timeline. I’m just seeing how it goes each day.’’

Question: How did you feel skating today?

RICHARDSON: “I felt OK. It’s pretty sore. It’s really annoying. I have stitches right now, so it’s kind of rubbing against. It’s tough, because of my pants and stuff. It kind of felt weird. It’s really tight, too. I felt all right. I’m surprised I felt as good as I did, for what I had done. We’ll take it day by day and see how it goes.’’

Question: Have the doctors given you any idea as to when you might play again?

RICHARDSON: “I’m going to go see the doctor again on Monday, so I’ll probably have a better idea then. With this kind of thing, it can get better pretty quickly. I’m not going to say a date for sure, because I haven’t talked to (the doctor). I’m going to try to skate again tomorrow, and if it gets better then we’ll go from there.’’

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