Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos continued to increase his rehabilitation Monday as he recovers from a broken right tibia.
Stamkos is with the team on its three-game road trip, which includes a game Monday at the Columbus Blue Jackets. According to reporters in Columbus, Stamkos joined the team late in its morning skate and then remained on the ice working on his own.
Wearing a red, non-contact jersey, he skated laps around the ice, took shots and worked on shooting drills and practicing faceoffs.
Center - TBL
GOALS: 14 | ASST: 9 | PTS: 23
SOG: 60 | +/-: 11
After practice Stamkos told reporters the most recent X-ray of his leg, taken eight weeks after his Nov. 12 surgery, showed positive signs, which allowed him to increase the off-ice portion of his rehabilitation. On the ice he said he still has issues when he accelerates from a stop or does twisting moves. He said he expects that discomfort to continue even after he starts playing, but said the positives have far outweighed any issues he's been feeling.
"Each time I've been on the ice, for the most part I've felt better each time," he said.
It appears where he's really pushed the pace is off the ice.
"We've been doing some plyometrics now, some jumping and loading up on that leg and taking some force on the ground," he said. "That's where you see the improvements. When I'm doing that stuff there's not too much that bothers me. It's obviously the torqueing [while skating] when all the weight is on that leg and you're turning. That's the stuff that's bothering me the most still."
Stamkos has been out since Nov. 11 when he broke his right leg falling into a goal post during a game against the Boston Bruins. He was named to Canada's team for the 2014 Sochi Olympics and said previously he hoped to get into at least one game for the Lightning prior to the Olympic break.