Lightning center Steven Stamkos officially ruled out of Winter Olympics
Lightning center Steven Stamkos will not play for Team Canada in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, Lightning vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced Wednesday.
The Ontario native's availability had been in question since fracturing his right tibia on Nov. 11, and had surgery to place a titanium rod in the tibia. Lightning Medical Director Ira Gutentag did not clear Stamkos for play after reviewing the results of a CT scan on Wednesday.
"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. "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."
A disappointed Stamkos, who has missed 39 regular season games, will continue to rehab and is scheduled to be reevaluated in two to three weeks.
"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."