Apr 18, 2013, 12:51 PM EST
The defending Stanley Cup champs are getting a key piece of their defense back in time for the playoffs.
That was the story out of Los Angeles on Thursday as Kings GM Dean Lombardi announced Matt Greene had been activated from injured reserve.
Greene, 29, hasn’t played in the last 42 games after suffering a back injury during a season-opening loss to Chicago.
The Kings have missed the 6-foot-3, 232 pound rearguard’s presence, especially after he scored a career-high four goals and 15 points in 2011-12.
Greene followed that up by chipping in 2G-4A-6PTS in 20 playoff games en route to the first championship in franchise history.
It’s possible Greene could draw back into the lineup tonight when the Kings host Columbus at Staples, though head coach Darryl Sutter wasn’t sure what to expect from him after so much time off.
“Quite honest, if he’s not ready to play three or four games, and if we made the playoffs, I’d have trouble putting him in for sure,” Sutter told LA Kings Insider. “He played, what, a few minutes of the year. So it’s not about ‘what you did’. It’s ‘what you’re doing.’
“It’s very simple. I mean, he’s going to have to play three or four games, very simple, otherwise I could not be comfortable with it.”
Greene underwent surgery for a herniated disc in his back in late January.
- Comparing the records of all 30 teams in the last two months 52
- Lightning ride Paquette’s first hat trick to Atlantic lead 7
- Price wins goalie duel vs. Lundqvist as Habs edge Rangers 4
- Leafs’ luck: Bernier gives up long distance goal, things unravel in third 20
- AHL announces new Pacific Division — who could go west next? 35
- Babcock didn’t think Wings would be ‘near where we’re at’ 16
- Brodeur announces retirement, leaves ‘the game with a big smile on my face’ 16
- NHL on NBCSN: Sharks’ ‘dog fight’ continues vs. red hot Ducks 5
- NHL on NBCSN: Rangers, Canadiens seek edge as divisional battles intensify 2
- Struggling Kings complete the comeback against Blackhawks 12