TAMPA — The injury that landed Steven Stamkos on long-term injured reserve is not related to the core muscle surgeries he had last year, the Lightning said Saturday.
Coach Jon Cooper expects Stamkos to return to the ice within seven to 10 days and reiterated that the captain should be ready to play when he’s first eligible, on May 5. The Lightning host the Stars that night.
“I think we’re extremely optimistic after he comes off the required time amount that he’ll be in really good shape to continue playing for us,” Cooper said. “Let’s see how he rests and his body mends a little bit.”
Stamkos left the April 8 game at Columbus in the third period after he spun around to pass the puck up the ice and then hunched over. He was put on long-term injured reserved Thursday retroactive to April 9.
Given that Stamkos was coming off two 2020 core muscle surgeries entering this season and that the latest injury seemed to happen without contact, there was concern that Stamkos had reaggravated the core muscle problem.
Stamkos had the first surgery last year March 2. He then suffered a leg injury during voluntary workouts before training camp began in July after the season’s coronavirus shutdown. At the time he described that injury as “part of the ebbs and flows of going through rehab.”
In the postseason, he played just 2:47 in the first period of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final against Dallas. Stamkos had a second core muscle surgery in October. He was a full participant when training camp started in January and played in 38 of the Lightning’s first 40 games.
Contact Eduardo A. Encina at email@example.com. Follow @EddieintheYard.
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