Kings’ Drew Doughty cleared to play after concussion
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, who suffered a concussion Oct. 20, was cleared by team medical personnel Tuesday night to resume all hockey activities, a club spokesman said.
The Kings are expected to activate him off injured reserve Wednesday and have him in uniform Thursday when they face the Tampa Bay Lightning at Staples Center.
Doughty practiced Tuesday morning in El Segundo but wore the yellow jersey that signifies non-contact status. He said he was eager to return but cautious.
“The first thought is making sure I’m healthy,” he said before taking the post-concussion tests, which measure memory, coordination, vision and reactions against readings taken before the injury.
“I feel good on the ice. I want to try and get back as soon as I can but I’ve got to make sure I’m ready.”
Parse ready too
Left wing Scott Parse, who injured his foot and groin during training camp, is set to make his season debut Thursday.
Parse skated alongside center Anze Kopitar and right wing Dustin Brown during practice and Coach Terry Murray said Parse will play Thursday if he feels OK after Wednesday’s workout. As a result, the Kings assigned forward Andrei Loktionov to Manchester of the American Hockey League. He had a goal and two points in seven games, playing center or left wing.
Parse had 11 goals and 24 points in 59 games last season and had been slotted on the second line. But the left side on the top line has been a problem since Ryan Smyth joined Jarret Stoll and Justin Williams to form a productive second unit.
“He’s one of those guys that I looked at, at the end of the year, as an offensive player, a skill player who can score some goals,” Murray said of Parse. “And in order for that to happen, they need to play on one of the higher lines.”
Parse said he’s ready to go. “I’m just trying to get my legs,” he said. “I can’t wait to play.”
Murray said Loktionov must “keep pushing his game and having a high level of success on both sides of the puck.”
Left wing Alexei Ponikarovsky missed practice because of flu. If he can’t practice Wednesday he’s likely to sit out Thursday. If he’s healthy Murray will have to scratch someone from the lineup.
Decision time for Schenn, Clifford
Murray said he and General Manager Dean Lombardi had a long discussion but didn’t decide whether to keep 19-year-old forwards Brayden Schenn and Kyle Clifford or return them to their respective junior teams. Each can play nine games without triggering the first year of his contract; Schenn has played eight games and Clifford has played seven.