Per media reports, the Kings are already racking up the injuries and the season hasn’t even started yet.
LA Kings Injury Report: Derek Forbort – Back – Expected on the ice tomorrow, but not a full session; Austin Strand – Concussion Symptoms – Not expected on the ice tomorrow; and Gabe Vilardi – Back – Not expected on the ice tomorrow. Considered week-to-week.— LAKingsPR (@LAKingsPR) September 13, 2018
The status of Gabe Vilardi’s back injury, which kept him out rookie camp and has continually been given a longer timetable for recovery, continues to be a concern for Kings fans, who are excited about seeing one of their top prospects take the ice in a Kings sweater. While the initial hopes were that Vilardi would be ready for the main training camp and pre-season, he’s now being considered week-to-week.
While onlookers generally assumed that Vilardi would be making the jump to the NHL this year, his path may be made more difficult by a prolonged rehabilitation period which denies him the front office and coaching staff the ability to see how he acquits himself against older, professional-caliber competition.
Austin Strand, who had two strong games during the rookie face-off, is out with concussion syndromes. Strand took a puck to the head in the first period of the final rookie game against the Golden Knights. He received stitches and did not return to the game. Strand is one of several defensemen vying for a spot on a crowded Ontario Reign blueline, but will have his professional debut delayed as he recovers.
Perhaps most concerning to Kings fans is the announcement that Derek Forbort is dealing with a back injury. This is new, unrelated to the sprained MCL that kept him out of the lineup for the playoffs. The good news is that Forbort is still skating, but in a limited amount. Hopefully this is just a minor tweak for the relatively sturdy defenseman that won’t keep him out of regular season play. With a number of NHL-ready defensemen vying for limited spots on the Kings roster, there’s no shortage of players ready to step up and play some heavy minutes, but we’d definitely rather not have uncertainty about Forbort’s status as the regular season inches closer.