Lightning's Steven Stamkos to Miss at Least 10 Games with Lower-Body Injury

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 16, 2021

Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) before an NHL hockey game against the Chicago Blackhawks Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos will miss at least the next 10 games with a lower-body injury, the team announced Thursday.

Joe Smith @JoeSmithTB

UPDATE: Steven Stamkos (lower body), put on LTIR, will miss at least 10 games/24 days #tblightning

The 31-year-old made 57 appearances during the 2019-20 regular season but was limited to a total of 2:47 on the ice during a playoff run that culminated in a Stanley Cup. He underwent surgery for a core muscle injury in February 2020.

Before the puck dropped for the abbreviated 2021 season, the Lightning announced they would likely be without Nikita Kucherov until the postseason because of hip surgery. That put more pressure on Tampa Bay's captain to lead the attack.

Through 38 games, Stamkos has 17 goals and 17 assists.

The Lightning's repeat bid took a hit with Kucherov's injury and Kevin Shattenkirk's departure in free agency. Still, plenty of players are back from last year's squad to at least keep the franchise in contention until the playoffs, when the Russian winger might be back on the ice.

Losing Stamkos for another extended period is a big blow, though.