Tampa Bay Lightning superstar Steven Stamkos says he “feels good,” but no date for a return has been set as the forward continues to recover from surgery to remove a blood clot.
Per ESPN’s Joe McDonald, Stamkos said: “It could be weeks. It could be months,” before he is cleared to play again.
The 26-year-old has been skating recently, but is not allowed to participate in contact drills because he is still taking blood thinning medication.
“If a patient is on blood thinners, he could not participate in any contact activity, because the risk of bleeding, major bleeding, would be so high I wouldn’t allow it,” said Dr. Dean Donahue, a thoracic surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston who has operated on other professional hockey and baseball players in the past.
“It it could take up to 10 days off [the blood thinners before he can] play hockey depending on what he’s on,” Donahue added.
The ability to skate but not play has clearly been testing for Stamkos, who watched Tampa Bay drop Game 1 of its Eastern Conference semifinal series with the New York Islanders on Wednesday.
“That’s the frustrating part. When you’re hurt with a broken hand or broken leg, you can’t get out there and play because your body can’t function properly,” Stamkos said. “My body feels pretty good. Just doing some extra skating, getting the legs and the lungs back, that stuff will take time. But [feeling good and not being able to play] is the frustrating part, for sure.”
Game 2 of the match up is set to take place at the Amalie Arena on Saturday (faceoff 3PM EST) before the action moves to Brooklyn on Tuesday.