Steven Stamkos: “I didn’t think I’d be walking”

Oct 5, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) waits for a face off against the Chicago Blackhawks during the third period at the United Center. The Lightning beat the Blackhawks 3-2 in the shootout. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos has raised the bar a couple of notches higher as to why hockey players are some of the toughest athletes in the entire world. Just 2 weeks after having surgery to repair his tibia in what has turned into the “break heard round the world,” Steven Stamkos walked, yes…walked into his press conference this morning without the aid of crutches or wearing any sort of cast.

The news first broke over Twitter when Lightning Beat Reporter Missy Zielinksi tweeted the spectacular news.

This is most definitely a good sign of his recovery.

“I can’t believe that I’m able to walk without any boot or crutches less than two weeks later,” Stamkos said.

As we mentioned before, Stamkos is just 13 days removed from having surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston where they had to insert a titanium rod into his leg in order to stabilize the fracture in his right tibia.

He made his return to the Bay Area on November 14th and opted to begin his rehab immediately. The fact that he is even on his feet so soon is reassuring the Lightning fans all over the Bolts Nation.

Originally, it was estimated that Stamkos would miss a minimum of three months due to his injury, which would put him right on the edge of the NHL break to start the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

According to Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun, Team Canada Head Coach Mike Babcock will remain on the Olympic Roster until the time comes when they are forced to make a decision in his involvement and potentially bring in an emergency replacement.

Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News quoted Stamkos from this afternoon’s press conference in regards to his “best case scenario” in a tweet earlier today.

While Stamkos has no intentions on rushing things, it is definitely reassuring to see him progressing so quickly.

Ideally, while I would love for him to be back in the Lightning lineup prior to the Olympic deadline, in no way, shape, or form do I want him to do anything that could potentially hinder his long term progression and risk a more serious and potentially career ending injury.

However, after today’s press conference, we can all hold on to the light of hope that Stamkos will be back sooner rather than later.

What do you think of the progress that Stamkos has made in the two short weeks since his surgery? Do you think he will make it back in time to participate in the Olympics this year? Vote in our poll and then tell us why in the comments below.

Do you think Steven Stamkos will be back in the Tampa Bay Lighting lineup in time for the Winter Olympics in Sochi?

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