There has been a major setback for both the Tampa Bay Lightning and Team Canada this afternoon. Tampa Bay Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced earlier today via the team’s official site that upon further evaluation, Lightning center Steven Stamkos would not be medically cleared, and therefore could not accompany Team Canada to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.
While there is no doubt that Stamkos has made almost superhuman strides in his recovery, it is in his long term interested to heed the instructions of his doctors and continue to heal properly.
Earlier today, Stamkos underwent a CT Scan on his injured tibia, which allowed for his physicians to get a three dimensional look at the center’s bone. After meeting with the Lightning’s Medical Director, Dr. Ira Gutentag, he was informed that he would not be medically cleared to participate in the games. Stamkos will be reevaluated in approximately 2-3 weeks.
This also means that Stamkos’ hopes for returning to the Tampa Bay Lightning roster on February 8th have been dashed as well.
Stamkos was obviously disappointed; however, he was thankful for all the people who have helped him during his recovery.
“Today is obviously very disappointing for me,” Stamkos told the Lightning’s official site. “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.”
Stamkos not played a single minute since he fractured his right tibia on November 11th at the TD Garden while the Tampa Bay Lightning faced off with the Boston Bruins. So far, the Lightning sniper has been forced to miss a total of 39 games due to injury.