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Lightning F Stamkos skates in full gear, no return date set

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TSN.ca Staff
1/2/2014 6:13:31 PM
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Steven Stamkos took another step in his recovery on Thursday, skating in full gear for the first time since breaking his right leg on November 11 against the Boston Bruins.

Donning a red non-contact practice jersey, the Tampa Bay Lightning forward was skating with teammates at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary.

Stamkos returned to the ice for the first time on December 14 but had yet to wear full pads.

The 23-year-old suffered a fractured tibia while backchecking on a play in the Tampa Bay zone in the second period when he got tangled with Boston defenceman Dougie Hamilton. Stamkos fell to the ice and slid feet-first before his lower right leg slammed into the right post, forcing the net off its moorings.

Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman told The Sporting News on December 31 that there remains no exact timetable for Stamkos' return.

"He's healing, the bone is healing, he's getting stronger, he's getting more aggressive in his rehab. He's doing well," said Yzerman.

"They told us it's a three-to-six-month process. He's gonna fall somewhere in there. We're hoping it's closer to three months than six months, but he's a motivated guy. He's in tremendous shape. He's young. He's got everything working in his favour to heal on the quicker side."

If healthy enough to play, Stamkos is expected to be placed on Team Canada's Olympic roster for the 2014 Sochi Games.  Canada must announce their roster by January 7.

Stamkos was tied for the NHL lead in goals (14) and points (23) before suffering the injury.

Steven Stamkos (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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