TAMPA -- Steven Stamkos walked into the media room in the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Monday, and he did it without crutches, without a cast or a walking boot and with only a barely perceptible limp.
It was the sort of progress from a broken right tibia sustained less than two weeks ago that few expected, even Stamkos.
"The thing that shocked me the most was, you think of a broken leg and most people are in a cast for 6-8 weeks," Stamkos said. "For this specific injury, because it did break almost in half, it allowed them to put a rod in there. With the rod there it's almost full strength. The bone just has to heal. It hasn't even been two weeks and I've been walking on it without any support for the last two days."
The recovery seems swift, even for someone in Stamkos' physical condition, but there were some difficult days.