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Lightning’s Stamkos Out 1-3 Months with Blood Clot

Tampa Captain to have Surgery on Arm to get rid of Clot

NHL

TAMPA-The Tampa Bay Lightning find themselves in a battle for the top spot atop the Atlantic Division with their in-state rival, the Florida Panthers. With four games left in their season, the Lightning trail the Panthers by two points. If they’re going to catch Florida, however, they are going to have to do it without their leading scorer and captain.

Lightning center Steven Stamkos will be out one to three months as he will be having surgery to remove a blood clot in his arm.

Stamkos missed Tampa’s 3-1 win over the New Jersey Devils Saturday night. It was the first game he had missed all season. Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman announced that his 26-year-old captain would be having vascular surgery on Monday to remove the clot. The team expects him to make a full recovery.

The loss is potentially a big blow to Tampa’s chances at making a deep playoff run. Stamkos leads the team with 36 goals and 64 points. He will miss the Lightning’s first round series, for sure, when the team clinches its playoff spot. Should they get to the second round, Tampa will hope his recovery only takes a month so Stamkos could have a chance to return to the lineup.

However, if Stamkos’ recovery takes more than a month, it is more than likely he will miss the entire playoffs as a two-month recovery would mean he wouldn’t be ready until the beginning to middle of June. The only way he plays then is if the Lightning reach the Stanley Cup Final again, as they did last season. A three-month recovery would definitely end his season.

Photo Credit: clyde/via flickr.com

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