Connor Murphy was on the ice at Fifth Third Arena, working by himself before practice this morning. Murphy has been sidelined in concussion protocol since a scary hit he took into the boards in Ottawa on March 12. Murphy was down on the ice and appeared to have been knocked out after Ottawa’s Parker Kelly drilled him into the glass. Murphy was eventually stretchered off the ice and has been in concussion protocol since.
“He’s just starting to feel a little better and just starting to skate. Whether he comes back or not, I’m not sure.” King said. “But the big thing is you’ll probably see JJ [Jujhar Khaira] on the ice, too. When they leave, if they don’t finish the season, that they’re cleared and they’re OK and we know they’re healthy and at least they can get summer training in. But I don’t know if Connor’s going to be OK to play, and obviously, JJ is out [and] done, but at least if he leaves here, he knows he’s comfortable with getting back into training.”
Murphy had logged 10 points in 57 games before the March 12 injury and the presence of one of the league’s leaders in blocked shots has been sorely missed. Seth Jones said on Thursday after the morning skate that the rest of the blue line group has had to work overtime in his absence. Jones is among the leaders in ice time this season.
Khaira has been out since undergoing back surgery in late February and while King didn’t rule the pair out for the season, it sounds like he’s not expecting them to return in the season’s final 11 games this month as he mentioned that summer work for both of them being the most realistic possibility.