It’s been two weeks since Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos suffered one of the more gruesome injuries we’ve seen this year. With his team visiting the Boston Bruins during a Veteran’s Day matinee game, Stamkos was driving towards the net in a scrum with Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton when he lost his footing and crashed into the goal post. The collision resulted in a broken leg that was “cover your eyes” ugly, and Stamkos has been recovering ever since.
Upon the initial diagnosis, it was highly doubtful Stamkos would be ready to return any time remotely close to the 2014 Sochi Olympics. It was certainly bad news for the Canadian National team, as losing Stamkos meant playing without one of the most prolific scorers in the league. However, those dreams of skating for his country next year might not be dashed just yet.
Stamkos surprised many during a press conference today when he arrived in front of the media without the use of either crutches or a walking boot. It’s a huge turnaround for a player who just had a metal rod surgically inserted into his leg.
“I didn’t think I’d be walking,” Stamkos said in front of the media scrum. He then noted that he’s been doing so for the past two days.
This is obviously great news for both the Canadian National team as well as the Lightning. Despite losing arguably their best player two weeks ago, Tampa Bay has held their own, sitting just three points out of first place in the Eastern Conference. Players like Valtteri Filppula and Lightning mainstay Martin St. Louis have been consistently stepping up, while the team is also seeing incredible goaltending from Ben Bishop. His .926 save percentage is going a long way towards keeping the Lightning afloat despite losing such a marquee player in Stamkos.
While the recent news of Stamkos’ recovery status is great, he still has a ways to go before he can lace up again. However, if Tampa Bay can continue to hold their own while their injured forward recovers, look for them to be quite the threat once they’re back at full strength.