Steven Stamkos is determined to make a comeback for the Tampa Bay Lightning and to play in the 2014 Winter Olympics for Canada. Both teams have a chance of making some noise and doing some damage in their own ways, and Stamkos clearly wants to be a part of both squads.
That explains the aggressive rehab tactics he’s using.
#Lightning Stamkos now wearing removable cast enabling him to start an aggressive re-hab. Still no timetable set for his return.
— Nick Kypreos (@RealKyper) November 15, 2013
To make it to Sochi, Stamkos will have to totally rehab his broken tibia. Keep in mind that he had a rod inserted into his leg during the surgery that followed the injury. The top-end forward would then need to get into game shape in time to pull the Maple Leaf onto his chest in the Olympics in February.
Or a little over three months from now, which is the optimistic front-end of the typical rehab time for injuries like this. A broken tibia can be rehabbed in three months, but can sometimes take up to six. For what it’s worth, you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t think Stamkos can do it in three.
He’s one of the most driven and dedicated individuals in the NHL. His presence as one of the greatest players in the world is no accident. Stamkos is at the top of the mountain because he works hard. To that point, Lightning head coach Jon Cooper spoke to the Tampa Bay Times and stated his belief that the forward will be back this season.
In my heart, I know he’s coming back. I have no doubt. I don’t think the question is going to be, ‘Is he coming back to play this year for the Tampa Bay Lightning?’ The question is, ‘Is he going to be back (in February) to play for the Canadian Olympic team?’ I’m the optimistic coach, but that’s how it might turn out.
Strong words from a man who knows Stamkos well both on and off the ice. Regardless of who you root for, the NHL is a better place with Stamkos in it. The evidence was strewn across Twitter and various social media outlets immediately following the injury took place. Comments of “I’m a fan of Team X, but get better soon Stammer” and so on were common place.
With the motivation in his chest and the support behind his back, Stamkos has all the tools he needs to make his Olympic dream a reality. If anyone can do it, it’s him.