Bad news for Team Canada and for the Tampa Bay Lightning, as the team has announced that following a look at his medicals, the star centre is not healthy enough for game action and will not be participating in the Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
The Tampa Bay Lightning released the following statement:
“After reviewing the CT scan this afternoon, Dr. Gutentag made it clear to me and to Steven that the tibia is not completely healed and therefore he should not be participating in game action at any time in the near future,” stated Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman. “Although the doctor was very pleased to this point with the healing process, he explained that the callus surrounding the fracture site is not 100 percent consolidated, and Steven will not be cleared to play in a game until that happens. It was a pretty clear cut decision, no gray areas at all.”
Stamkos was injured when he collided with the Tampa Bay Lightning goal post in a game on November 11th vs the Boston Bruins. He underwent surgery the next day and had a titanium rod inserted into his tibia. Stamkos had 14 goals and 23 points in 17 games this season prior to the injury. He has missed 39 regular season games so far.
“Today is obviously very disappointing for me,” Stamkos said. “I honestly believe that we did everything possible in order to have my injured leg ready in time for the Olympics, but I realize you can’t force healing. I know, in the best interest of my long term health, I cannot represent Canada in Sochi, as much as I would like to. I would like to thank the training staff for their dedication and hard work and I look forward to returning to the Lightning once cleared by the medical team.”
With Stamkos out, the names of possible replacements are already making the rounds in the media. They include Martin St. Louis, Claude Giroux, James Neal, Eric Staal, Joe Thornton, Tyler Seguin, and Logan Couture amongst others. While there is no shortage of available talent for Hockey Canada to choose from, it quite simply is not possible to fully replace a goal scorer of Steven Stamkos talent.
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