TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Injured Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos said Wednesday he won't play for Team Canada in the Sochi Olympics as he recovers from a broken leg.
Stamkos and Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman issued a joint statement indicating an exam performed by team medical director Dr. Ira Gutentag revealed the leg was not sufficiently healed to allow the high-scoring forward to play in the Olympics.
Stamkos fractured his right tibia during a 3-0 loss to the Boston Bruins Nov. 11. At the time, the 23-year-old was tied for the NHL lead in goals (14) and points (23).
He has since missed 39 games while recovering, and the Canadian squad was hoping he could return in time to make an impact at the Sochi games.
"Today is obviously very disappointing for me," Stamkos said. "I honestly believe that we did everything possible in order to have my injured leg ready in time for the Olympics, but I realize you can't force healing."
"After reviewing the CT scan this afternoon, Dr. Gutentag made it clear to me and to Steven that the tibia is not completely healed and therefore he should not be participating in game action at any time in the near future," Yzerman added.