Lightning’s Steven Stamkos out at least four months after surgery

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TAMPA, Fla.(WFLA)  – The Tampa Bay Lightning announced on Wednesday that captain Steven Stamkos suffered a lateral meniscus tear.

Stamkos is out indefinitely.

Stamkos left Wednesday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings. He limped off the ice and went to the dressing room about halfway through the first period. He appeared to injure his right leg in a collision with Detroit’s Gustav Nyquist along the boards.

“I hope that this is not an injury that will end his season,” Randy, a fan said. “Anytime a leader like Stamkos is out you are disappointed. He brings a lot to the game. A lot excitement for the game. The guys are starting off good. I do not want the lightning to have another bad season because of an injury. I’m tired of injuries.”

The Lightning confirmed Stammer will be out indefinitely on Twitter.

Watson Clinic Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Phuc Vo sees this injury often with athletes. He tells News Channel 8 that if Stamkos has the torn pieces removed, he’ll be back in the game in a short time, but he could have problems later. “If we’re missing it [meniscus] then down the road, maybe 10 to 25 years down the road, we can develop arthritis,” Dr. Vo said.

If surgeons repair the injury, he’ll be out much longer. “If we repair the meniscus, and ideally if we can do that then the future is better, then it takes about 3 to 4 months for that to heal. So the athlete is out from action for a long, long time,” Dr. Vo said.

Fans are hoping for the best. “I’m looking forward to this Lightning season. I thought this was going to be the year. I want him to come back,” Robert said.

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