Stamkos out ‘approximately four months’

The Tampa Bay Lightning will be without center Steven Stamkos for approximately four months, according to a statement released by the team on Thursday.

Earlier this week, we reported that Stamkos apparently suffered a knee injury during Tuesday’s contest against the Detroit Red Wings. The injury ended up being worse than initially thought, with Stamkos suffering a tear in the lateral meniscus of his right knee. Here’s the full statement from the Lightning:

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos underwent surgery to repair a tear in the lateral meniscus of his right knee today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced. Stamkos is expected to miss approximately four months. The procedure was performed by Dr. Robert LaPrade at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado.

The four-month timeline puts Stamkos out of action until roughly mid-March, giving him time to get several games under his belt prior to the beginning of playoffs.

Lightning General Manager Steve Yzermansaid he ‘s willing to explore options to help replace Stamkos and the offense production the team will lose, but doesn’t see a trade as a realistic option right now.

“At this time, it’s not realistic to think I can go out and acquire (someone),” Yzerman said. “Even if I could acquire a player with a significant cap number, I’d have to be scrambling when Stammer came back. So let’s wait and see for time being.

“I’m certainly open to exploring anything. But at this time, let’s give some of the guys who¬† have been waiting for an increased role a chance.”

Stamkos is tied for the team lead in goals with nine and is second in points with 20 in 17 games.

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