Nov 15, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT
Jon Cooper is adamant his star player will return to the ice this season.
That’s what the Lightning head coach said on Thursday when asked about when — or, if — leading scorer Steve Stamkos would be back in the lineup following surgery to repair a broken right tibia.
“In my heart, I know he’s coming back,” Cooper said, as per the St. Petersburg Times. “I have no doubt.”
Stamkos, who had a titanium rod inserted into his leg, has been given a timetable of 3-6 months, with the Times pointing out three months is “the most optimistic of the speculated timetables.” Complications from the rod insertion (hehe) or a rough patch of rehabilitation could delay his return.
Cooper said all signs are pointing in the right direction. The surgery went well — “nobody is saying the rod slipped” — and Stamkos, 23, is a disciple of the Gary Roberts training and lifestyle program. So all bodes well for a return.
But wait, a return for February? According to Cooper, that’s the bigger topic for discussion.
“I don’t think the question is going to be, ‘Is he coming back to play this year for the Tampa Bay Lightning?'” Cooper explained. “The question is, ‘Is he going to be back to play for the Canadian Olympic team?’
“I’m the optimistic coach, but that’s how it might turn out.”
- How do Voracek, Giroux compare to the most expensive duos? 46
- Voracek turns monster season into massive eight-year deal 68
- Report: Canucks, Sutter closing in on five-year deal, north of $20M 28
- Voynov serving sentence at jail that once advertised it had flat screen TVs 45
- Report: Bernier and Leafs more than $2 million apart ahead of Friday’s arbitration hearing 12
- Flyers re-sign Couturier: six years, $26 million 40
- Benning calls Sutter a ‘foundation piece’ for Canucks 24
- Here’s a chart that shows which teams have been good/bad at drafting 40
- Penguins sign Fehr to three-year, $6 million contract 22
- Trade: Penguins send Sutter to Canucks for Bonino, Clendening 54
- Bettman says NHL would have to ‘consider’ putting Quebec City in the Western Conference (71)
- Voracek turns monster season into massive eight-year deal (70)
- Rangers sign Stepan — six years, $39 million (62)
- NBC Sports to broadcast 105 NHL games in 2015-16 (58)
- Trade: Penguins send Sutter to Canucks for Bonino, Clendening (54)