There is some seriously disappointing news in the Bolts Nation today. Tampa Bay Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced today via the Lightning’s Official Site that Lightning center Steven Stamkos would not be medically cleared, and therefore cannot accompany Team Canada to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
Earlier today, Stamkos has a CT Scan done on his injured leg, which allowed for his physicians to get a 3D, and much more accurate look at his injury. After this, he met with the Lightning’s Medical Director, Dr. Ira Gutentag, and was informed of the results.
Unfortunately, this also means that Stamkos’ hopeful return to the Lightning lineup on February 8th against the Detroit Red Wings at the Tampa Bay Times Forum have been dashed as well.
Stamkos was obviously disappointed by the news, but he remained thankful of the people who have helped him so far on his road to recovery and hopeful of his eventual return.
Today is obviously very disappointing for me,” Stamkos told the Lightning’s official site. “I honestly believe that we did everything possible in order to have my injured leg ready in time for the Olympics, but I realize you can’t force healing. I know, in the best interest of my long term health, I cannot represent Canada in Sochi, as much as I would like to. I would like to thank the training staff for their dedication and hard work and I look forward to returning to the Lightning once cleared by the medical team.”
The 6 foot tall, 190 pound center has not played a single minute since November 11th at the TD Garden against the Boston Bruins when the incredibly unfortunate accident occurred, and Stamkos fractured his right tibia. To date, Stamkos has been forced to miss a total of 39 games due to this injury.
Prior to the incident, Stamkos had skated in 17 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning. In that time, he scored 14 goals and 9 assists for a total of 23 points to accompany his plus-11 rating.
This is certainly disappointing news for everyone involved; Stamkos, the Lightning organization, Team Canada, and last, but most certainly not least, the Bolts Nation.
Stamkos will be reevaluated again in 2-3 weeks to chart his progress and see what the next step in his recovery will be.
Make sure to stay tuned to Bolts By The Bay. We will keep you up to date on any new developments in Stamkos’ recovery as they become available.
What do you think of the news coming out of the Lightning organization today? Are you disappointed that Stamkos won’t be making the trip to Sochi, or are you glad that he will be taking the extra time necessary to recover properly and avoid any long term injury? Let us know what you think in the comments below.