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Lightning's Vasilevskiy aims for October return: report

by NHL.com Staff / NHL.com

Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy told the Tampa Bay Times he's hoping to return by the end of October.

Vasilevskiy had vascular surgery to remove a blood clot from his left collarbone on Sept. 3. He worked out Monday before practice with goalie coach Frantz Jean, facing shots from close range.

"I'm feeling great, almost ready to go," Vasilevskiy said. "I can do almost everything I want. Every move."

Vasilevskiy remains on blood thinners, which restricts him from facing shots in the left shoulder area. He has an appointment with Dr. Karl Illig, who performed the surgery, on Oct. 21 with the chance he could be cleared to return to practice. His previous follow-up appointment in late September went well.

"Doctor said, 'Everything looks good, we just need another extra four weeks to make sure everything is OK,'" Vasilevskiy said.

Vasilevskiy told the Times he believes he'll need a couple of games with Syracuse of the American Hockey League before returning to back up Ben Bishop. The Lightning are carrying goalies Kevin Poulin and Kristers Gudlevskis on their roster and have until 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday to finalize it for opening night Thursday against the Philadelphia Flyers at Amalie Arena (7:30 p.m. ET, TVA Sports).

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