Keck Medicine of USC and Dr. John Meyer’s Institute of Sports Physical Therapy will operate at the Los Angeles Kings’ new orthopedic clinic and rehab facility in El Segundo when it is finished next year, according to Kelly Cheeseman, chief operations officer for the Kings.
As part of the deal, Meyer will take over as the Kings’ primary team doctor starting in the 2018-2019 season, Cheeseman said, adding that Meyer’s track record of rehabilitating injured athletes was stellar.
The Kings executive said the partnership was the first of its kind in the NHL.
The medical facility is being built at a practice space the Kings formerly shared with the Los Angeles Lakers – dubbed the Toyota Sports Center – until the basketball team moved out in July. Anschutz Entertainment Group Inc. owns both the Kings and the facility at 555 N. Nash St.
The Kings took over the Lakers’ former office space, but the basketball team’s practice facility wasn’t large enough to accommodate a hockey rink.
Cheeseman said the decision was made to instead convert the 5,000 square feet into a medical practice and training facility. That includes 3,500 square feet allocated for the Keck facility, which is focused on orthopedic medical treatment.
Keck Medicine Chief Operating Officer Rod Hanners said the clinic won’t exclusively serve Kings players or professional athletes; members of the public can in some circumstances be treated there as well.
“The Kings and AEG are such a great organization and we had been talking about it for a while and then we were the third party brought in,” Hanners said. “We envision working with others in our specialty to solve sports-related performance.”
Meyer’s ISportsPT facility at the Toyota Sports Center will take up 1,500 square feet and be the new headquarters for the company, currently located near Los Angeles International Airport. The outpost will include a biomechanics lab and physical therapy practice.
Both the Keck and ISportsPT facilities are expected to open in summer 2018.
Cheeseman also stressed the facilities’ availability to non-professional athletes.
“We are not privatizing this space,” he said. “Other teams may create things behind closed doors, but in our case where Jonathan Quick, Alex Martinez and our top players get training, we allow our Junior Kings and youth athletes to train.”