Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos will undergo surgery to repair a core muscle, the team announced Saturday. The expected recovery will last approximately six to eight weeks after the procedure, which is scheduled for March 2.
The 30-year-old left Tuesday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs with an undisclosed injury, and was held out of action Thursday against the Chicago Blackhawks before the team announced the procedure today.
This adds to a lengthy list of injuries during the young star’s career. In November 2013, Stamkos broke his right tibia and missed 45 games after crashing into the goal post. In April 2016, he had a blood clot removed from near his collarbone and missed all but one postseason game during Tampa’s run to the Eastern Conference Final. In November 2016, Stamkos suffered a torn lateral meniscus in his right knee and missed most of the season.
The timeline on his core injury means Stamkos could return to the lineup anytime between April 13-27, missing the rest of the regular season and likely the first round of the postseason. The Bolts are in a tight race with Boston at the top of the Eastern Conference, with 85 points in 64 games, only 9 points back from Boston with two games in hand.
Stamkos has 29 goals and 66 points in 57 games this season, trailing only Nikita Kucherov on the team, who has 78 points in 62 games.
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