EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- It appears the Los Angeles Kings will get defenseman Matt Greene back into the lineup sooner than expected.
Greene was activated from injured reserve Thursday morning and is available to play his first game since he injured his back in the season opener Jan. 19. Coach Darryl Sutter was not available to reporters, but Greene said he was good to go against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
"You got to play," Greene said. "You got to play some time, you know? Playoffs are every other day. Obviously you've got to play some games to try and get ready and see if I can handle it."
Greene played in the opener, but was placed on injured reserve when it was revealed he had a herniated disk in his back that required surgery Jan. 24. A few weeks ago, the club targeted the end of April for his return, so this is ahead of schedule.
Greene will likely go in for Keaton Ellerby, who stayed out with the extras. His return gives L.A. another big body to clear the front of the net and kill penalties, along with Robyn Regehr.
Greene said this is the most time he's missed since he broke a leg five or six years ago. He would like to have a short adjustment period.
"Hopefully it's not too long, or else I'm not helping anybody," Greene said. "Hopefully just get out there -- take a hit, give a hit at the beginning of the game."
Dustin Brown – Anze Kopitar – Justin Williams
Dustin Penner – Mike Richards – Jeff Carter
Dwight King – Jarret Stoll – Trevor Lewis
Kyle Clifford – Brad Richardson – Jordan Nolan
Robyn Regehr – Drew Doughty
Rob Scuderi – Slava Voynov
Matt Greene – Jake Muzzin
Scratched: Tyler Toffoli, Colin Fraser, Alec Martinez, Keaton Ellerby
Injured: Willie Mitchell (knee)
Notes: Quick did not take the ice, but he is expected to start. Sutter on Wednesday called out Penner for lack of production, but it doesn't appear that he will come out of the lineup.