Lightning coach Cooper hopeful Hedman could return in early December

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman enjoyed a strong start before the breaking a finger on his right hand on Oct. 18, which was estimated to keep him out four-to-six weeks.

Kim Klement/Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

TAMPA, Fla. — Defenseman Victor Hedman still has about a month to go before he can return to the Tampa Bay Lightning, but coach Jon Cooper is hopeful for an early December return.

Cooper said Thursday morning that Hedman, who sustained a broken finger on his right hand on Oct. 18 in Vancouver, can return in about a month. Hedman has skated individually the past two days and is free of the cast.

"He’s still got a few weeks," Cooper said.

"So maybe early December. … He’s got a little time left."

Hedman, 23, enjoyed a strong start before the injury, which was estimated to keep him out four-to-six weeks. He earned goals in each of his first three games and had seven points in five games.

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