Nearly four months after breaking his right tibia during a game in Boston, Steven Stamkos says he's been medically cleared to return to playing for the Lightning.
The Tampa Bay sniper tweeted on Wednesday, "Just left the doctors office. Got the green light. See you tomorrow Bolts fans. Excited to be back !!"
Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman confirmed that Stamkos would be in the lineup for the team's home game against the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday in a press release issued later Wednesday.
“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 broke the bone in his leg on Nov. 11 against the Bruins when he crashed into a goal post, and was forced to miss 45 games for the Lightning, as well as the Olympics for Canada.
The star centre had 14 goals and 23 points in 17 games this season before the injury.
“Today is obviously an exciting day for me,” Stamkos said. “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.”