The LA Kings could potentially be getting a big piece to their roster back ahead of schedule. According to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, defenseman Drew Doughty is well ahead of his initial recovery schedule, indicating he could re-join the club this week.

“When he got hurt in late October, the team announced he’d be out eight weeks – 2 months. Well, it turns out, he’s been skating alone as of late and is expected to join the group in a non-contact jersey as early as Friday.” – LeBrun/TSN

The former Norris Trophy winner was injured on October 22 in the team’s 3-2 overtime loss at the Dallas Stars when he took a knee-to-knee hit from Stars defenseman Jani Hakanpaa. Doughty had to be helped off the ice and down to the locker room.

As noted, general manager Rob Blake announced that Doughty would resume skating in approximately six weeks and live-game action in eight weeks. This is obviously very good news, given how important the 31-year-old is to this club.

He was off to a tremendous start this season, scoring a goal with six assists through the first four games while continuing to play big minutes for the Kings. Doughty still leads all defensemen in points (7) on the club, and he will be a welcome addition back when 100 percent healthy.

Three days later, the team lost Sean Walker to a torn MCL/ACL, and he’s out for the season. In Doughty’s absence, Mike Anderson has been primarily playing on his off side paired with the left-shot Tobias Bjornfot.

Upon his return, the team will be forced to make a difficult decision as the likely candidates to be sent down to Ontario in Austin Strand, Kale Clague, and Olli Maatta need to clear waivers first.

Obviously, very good news on the Doughty front, but something to monitor going forward as No. 8 gets closer to returning.

LA Kings: Rob Blake provides injury updates on Doughty, Walker

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