Anton Stralman nearing return, Stamkos' status hasn't changed
Watching Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman skate at Sunday's practice, you'd never tell he fractured his leg seven weeks ago.
And it appears like Stralman has a chance to return for Monday's Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Penguins. Stralman began doing full team skates last week, saying he was progressing each day, including doing some contact.
"Stralman is looking good," Cooper said. "He's getting closer. Now we're getting to the point where he is -- Stralman is definitely day-to-day now, and that's great news because he is extremely important player on our team. So we'll just -- it's kind of going to be all to Strals here now,
how he's feeling. I haven't talked to him since practice ended. But it's been encouraging to watch him play, and you're looking at him right now at practice, you wouldn't even think he was hurt. He's not favoring anything, so it's a really good sign."
Captain Steven Stamkos (blood clot) also looked really good, practicing in a regular jersey in a full team practice for the first time. He participated in some line rushes, and did some penalty kill work. But GM Steve Yzerman said Stamkos' status hasn't changed, so don't expect him to return for Monday's Game 2.
"You're slowly seeing him -- wasn't on the ice, and then he's on the ice with a red jersey and now he doesn't have the red jersey any longer. I think there was a point where there was so much uncertainty, it was kind of accepted that he wasn't being able to play. But now you're getting to a point where we're kind of in that holding pattern type, and he's feeling good because he's been on the ice so much more, now he's getting himself back into game shape and in these situations."
Dr. Karl Illig, Stamkos' surgeon, said that - in general - once you get off blood thinners, you can play within 8-10 hours or five days, depending on what drug you're on.