The Los Angeles Kings provided updates on two of the team’s top defensemen today that Drew Doughty has suffered a right knee contusion and will not skate for the next six weeks, while Sean Walker suffered a torn ACL and MCL and is out for the season. The team is hopeful Doughty can return to the lineup in eight weeks.
Walker tore both ligaments on Monday and will undergo surgery at a later date. His season is over after six games.
It appeared as though the 26-year-old had taken a step forward this season, in terms of performance and responsibility. He had logged more than 20 minutes of ice time in each of the three games prior to Monday’s effort, including a whopping 25:09 against the Dallas Stars last week. In the second season of a four-year, $10.6MM deal, Walker will have to work back from serious knee surgery and try to be ready for next fall.
Doughty meanwhile is obviously one of the most important players on the Kings and was off to an incredible start through his first three games. With seven points in those contests, it was a devastating blow when he collided with Jani Hakanpaa partway through the game against the Stars.
Hakanpaa was given a major penalty and a game misconduct for kneeing, but did not receive any supplementary discipline.
Eight weeks from now would suggest Doughty could be ready to return by the team’s last game before the Christmas break, though that will obviously be dependant on how he recovers and reacts once he’s back on the ice. Either way, it is likely he’ll miss upwards of 20 games due to this injury, a huge chunk of the season for a team trying to make the playoffs.