The Tampa Bay Lightning’s star center, out with a broken right tibia since Nov. 11, was not cleared to play Monday after another X-ray was taken to determine the progress of his healing.
Now, the team is eying a March 6 return for the two-time Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy winner. That would place Stamkos’ re-entry into the lineup against the Buffalo Sabres at Tampa Bay Times Forum, the first of a six-game homestand. Stamkos will miss the Lightning’s upcoming four-game road trip, which begins Thursday at Nashville.
Stamkos, 24, has missed 41 games since his injury. He had been hopeful to recover in time to represent Team Canada in the recent Sochi Games, but he was not cleared for participation after a CT scan was taken Feb. 5.
Lightning captain Marty St. Louis, a winger, was named Stamkos’ replacement for the eventual gold-medal-winning squad.