Tampa Bay Lightning F Ryan Callahan Takes The Ice In Full Contact Jersey

Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Tampa Bay Lightning alternate captain Ryan Callahan has taken the next step towards returning to the ice as he joins his team for practice in a regular jersey.

The Tampa Bay Lightning received some very unsettling news right before the start of the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. The team learned they would have to start out the 2016-17 season without the assistance of Lightning alternate captain Ryan Callahan.

Ryan Callahan suffered a labral tear in his right hip. As you can imagine, this is an injury that would require surgery to repair. Callahan successfully underwent said surgery on June 21st. Unfortunately for the Lightning, thanks to the aforementioned injury, Callahan would be forced to miss five months away from the ice.

The Lightning started off the 2016-17 season with quite a bang as they throttled the Detroit Red Wings 6-4 at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay. While the team is almost always able to compensate when a player goes down, it would certainly be nice to have a player like Callahan out on the ice with his team.

Thankfully, it seems as if the 31-year-old Lightning alternate captain is making significant strides towards that very goal. According to Tampa Bay Lightning Beat Writer Bryan Burns, Cally was able to take the ice with the team at this morning’s practice in a full contact jersey.

According to Burns, Callahan said his body responded well to taking contact today, but won’t really know for sure until later today/tomorrow. This is par for the course. When a person hits the gym full force, they may feel like they’re on top of the world, but when they get out of bed the next morning it sometimes tells a much different story.

This is definitely good news for the Tampa Bay Lightning and their fans; unfortunately, it’s not the time to celebrate just yet. Don’t expect to hear Ryan Callahan’s name called in the opening lineup just yet. According to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, we are still looking at an early to mid-November return for Callahan.

It may seem like an eternity until Ryan Callahan will be able to return to the ice, but there are two things Tampa Bay Lightning fans should keep in mind. The first of which is, no one wants Callahan to return before he’s ready. Not only will this affect his play, but it could be detrimental to his career long term.

Secondly, if a fan can survive the grueling months known as the NHL off-season, waiting a couple more weeks should be a piece of cake. Hopefully, said piece of cake is shaped like a hockey puck…we’re just saying.

Next: Steven Stamkos: ‘The Team Is Back Together’

All jokes aside, Ryan Callahan is making significant strides towards making his way back to the ice with his team. The Tampa Bay Lightning kicked off their season with a bang on Thursday night. Just imagine what the Lightning can accomplish once Callahan makes his return.