LA Kings: Justin Williams Escapes Serious Eye Injury; Status Is Day-To-Day

LA Kings right wing Justin Williams (right), shown here talking
with head coach Darryl Sutter (left) during a recent practice.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — On November 5, the day after the Los Angeles Kings won their first road game of the season in Dallas, the top priority was not about how to build on that win. The reason: it was also the day after right wing Justin Williams suffered what could have been a serious eye injury during the win at Dallas.

Williams was accidentally clipped with a high stick by Dallas Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon at 16:12 of the third period. Williams immediately covered his eye with his hand, and went directly to the dressing room. He did not return to the game.

On Wednesday, Williams emerged from the Kings dressing room at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California with a cut above his right eye, which was a bit swollen.

“I’m still blurry right now, but that’ll subside in a few days,” he said. “I mean, initially, it’s pretty scary when you get hit. It’s kind of like getting poked in the eye. You can’t see anything for a little bit. It scares you, and then the doctor tells you you’re going to be fine, and you’re OK.”

“It’s the swelling and blood in the eye,” he added. “That’ll subside when the swelling goes down and the vision will come back fully, from what I understand.”

Fearing the worst, the injury gave Williams quite the scare.

“[There are] a lot of things that happen during a hockey game that frighten you, and that was certainly one of them,” he noted. “When you get clipped near an eye, it can scare you, certainly. That’s what we have a good training staff for.”

“My wife had [head athletic trainer] Chris Kingsley on her speed dial,” he added. “He’s good. He gets back to [her] quickly and helps ease her mind a little bit.”

The injury gave head coach Darryl Sutter a scare, too.

“My first thought was when you don’t see blood and you know your players, and they’re holding their face—because a lot of times you get hit in the mouth, you bleed, you get a tooth knocked out, you bleed, you get hit in the nose, you bleed, you get cut—the first thing when you do that—that’s what I always think of is [the] eye,” said Sutter. “[I’m] thankful. You’d rather miss a day, or a game, or whatever it is, than have anything to do with vision.”

“We talked about it,” added Sutter. “I had a bad eye injury when I played, and Robyn [Regehr] was talking about—he had a bad injury as a result of a car accident he was in.”

Williams saw the doctor on Wednesday.

“I saw the doctor this morning,” said Williams. “She said I’ve got a little scratch [above his eye]. We’ll see how it goes in the next few days. The blood and swelling should go down, and we’ll see how I look.”

Chances are, Williams will miss tonight’s game against the New York Islanders at Staples Center (7:30 PM PST).

“[I’ll] probably [sit] tomorrow out, yeah, and then we’ll just see how it goes,” he said.

“He’s day-to-day,” said Sutter. “He was in this morning, and got checked out, so that’s good.”

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