By Dory LeBlanc
Four months after breaking his tibia in Boston, Steven Stamkos has been cleared to suit up and play.
Just left the doctors office. Got the green light. See you tomorrow Bolts fans. Excited to be back !!— Steven Stamkos (@RealStamkos91) March 5, 2014
Lightning fans will be on edge for most of the day with rumors circulating that the Rangers have put in an offer to send Tampa Bay captain Martin St. Louis to New York as the NHL trade deadline comes closer.
The news of Stamkos' return could soften the blow if the reports come to fruition and St. Louis is indeed dealt to New York before the 3:00 pm deadline this afternoon.
Prior to Stamkos' injury, he was the league's top scorer dating back to the 2009-10 season and had recorded 14 goals and nine assists (23 points) in 17 games played in the current campaign.
Below is the official release from Tampa Bay Lightning Communications
Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos has been cleared to return to game action, Lightning vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced this morning. He will be in the lineup for the Lightning’s home game against the Buffalo Sabres tomorrow night.
“Steven saw Lightning medical director Dr. Ira Guttentag this morning and based on the latest X-ray, a clinical exam and his functionality on and off the ice we are pleased to announce he is cleared to play.” Yzerman said. “We look forward to seeing him on the ice with his teammates tomorrow night.”
Stamkos fractured his right tibia on November 11 in a game against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden and he subsequently had surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital to place a titanium rod in the tibia. He has missed 45 regular season games since the injury occurred.
“Today is obviously an exciting day for me,” said Stamkos after learning the news. “Adversity is a good test and you’re going to have to go through it in your career, so you hope it makes you a better player and a better person. I have a new perspective on my career as a professional athlete and how hard you have to work to maintain that. I’d like to thank the training staff for their dedication and hard work, ensuring that I got back into the lineup as quickly as possible.”