(via Tampa Bay Lightning Communications) - Tampa Bay Lightning Center Steven Stamkos will not be able to participate in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced today. Stamkos underwent a CT Scan (which offers a three-dimensional view of the bone) this afternoon and then met with Lightning Medical Director Ira Gutentag, who was unable to clear Stamkos for game participation at this time. Rehabilitation with the Lightning training staff will continue and he will be reevaluated in 2-3 weeks.
“After reviewing the CT scan this afternoon, Dr. Gutentag made it clear to me and to Steven that the tibia is not completely healed and therefore he should not be participating in game action at any time in the near future,” Yzerman said in making the announcement. “Although the doctor was very pleased to this point with the healing process, he explained that the callus surrounding the fracture site is not 100 percent consolidated, and Steven will not be cleared to play in a game until that happens. It was a pretty clear cut decision, no gray areas at all.”
Stamkos fractured his right tibia on November 11 in a game against the Boston Bruins and he subsequently had surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital to place a titanium rod in the tibia. He has missed 39 regular season games to this point.
“Today is obviously very disappointing for me,” Stamkos said. “I honestly believe that we did everything possible in order to have my injured leg ready in time for the Olympics, but I realize you can’t force healing. I know, in the best interest of my long term health, I cannot represent Canada in Sochi, as much as I would like to. I would like to thank the training staff for their dedication and hard work and I look forward to returning to the Lightning once cleared by the medical team.”