Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos is set to have surgery to repair a “core muscle injury” and will miss the next six to eight weeks.
The team made the announcement Saturday, with the surgery expected to take place Monday.
Tampa Bay head coach Jon Cooper said Friday he hoped a timeline for Stamkos’ return would be established Saturday or Sunday, but he didn’t have any news at that time.
It was known that Stamkos’ injury was unrelated to any of his previous surgeries, however. He appeared to be injured Tuesday as the Lightning faced the Toronto Maple Leafs. Stamkos left the game in the second period and did not return.
Following that contest, Cooper told reporters that it was the culmination of nagging injuries. It’s been known that Stamkos has been suffering a lower-body injury most of the season. He’d missed three games earlier this month and took a few practice skates off, but it looks like things are finally coming to a head.
Ahead of Saturday’s contest against the Calgary Flames, the Lightning find themselves second in the Atlantic Division with 85 points – nine behind the Boston Bruins as of press time. They’re also well up on the Maple Leafs.
If Stamkos returns closer to the six-week side of the estimate, he should be ready for the first weekend of the post-season.
The Markham native has 29 goals and 37 assists in 57 games this season.
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