Tampa Bay Lightning C Steven Stamkos To Undergo Surgery, Out At Least 4 Months

Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos is reportedly set to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee, sidelining him for at least four months.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have definitely been riddled with injuries this season. Unfortunately, the worst of those aforementioned injuries happened on Tuesday night as the Lightning took on the Detroit Red Wings at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

In the first period of play, Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos took an awkward fall along the boards. Stammer attempted to get to his feet and rejoin the play, but it was quickly evident there was something wrong. Stamkos had an issue putting any sort of weight on his right leg.

While the 26-year-old Lightning captain was able to make it to the bench under his own power, it wasn’t long before he was headed up the tunnel and back to the Lightning locker room where he would spend the remainder of the game.

Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning /

Tampa Bay Lightning

Yesterday, Lightning fans got the news they had been dreading since Stamkos first left the ice on Tuesday night. Tampa Bay Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman said in a press release Steven Stamkos had suffered a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee and would be out indefinitely.

Today, TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie was able to shed a little light on the situation and give Lightning fans a clearer look at what they can expect moving forward. Unfortunately, it’s not exactly the kind of news Lightning fans were hoping for.

According to McKenzie, Stamkos is currently headed to Vail, Colorado where he is expected to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a lateral meniscus tear.

McKenzie goes on to report Stamkos’ procedure will be performed by knee specialist Dr. Robert LaPrade and his recovery time could be between four to six months.

If McKenzie’s report proves to be true, in the best possible scenario, Tampa Bay Lightning fans won’t see their captain on the ice again until March 16th when the Lightning take on the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

Given the history between Toronto fans and Stamkos, this would be the perfect place for the captain to make his return, but keep in mind, this is under the most idealistic of circumstances and is by no means guaranteed.

Should the circumstances surrounding Stamkos’ recovery be less than ideal, there is a real possibility the Lightning may not get their captain back until the second or third round of the postseason, should the Lightning make it to that point.

While this is definitely not good news for the Tampa Bay Lightning and their fans, this is hardly cause for widespread panic. This is not the first time the Lightning have been put in this situation, and it more than likely will not be the last time they face this sort of adversity.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have arguably the best depth out of any other team in the National Hockey League. While missing their captain is never a good thing, the Bolts have plenty of talented players just waiting for the opportunity to show the world what they can accomplish.

In addition to some of the newer talent on the team, the Lightning have players like Nikita Kucherov, Tyler Johnson, and many more who have stepped up their game as of late and are ready to heed the call to battle.

The Tampa Bay Lightning face their next challenge tonight at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo where they will do battle with the Buffalo Sabres. Judging by the numbers, this would seem to be a cakewalk for the Lightning; however, the last thing you want to do is underestimate a team when their backs are against the wall.

Next: Steven Stamkos Leaves Game After Awkward Fall (Video)

While the Lightning will be in search of their third-straight win tonight in Buffalo, the Sabres will be desperately searching for some much-needed redemption and to right their currently sinking ship. Needless to say, fans are going to be in for a heck of a battle tonight.