As most National Hockey League fans know by now, this year's NHL playoffs will be without one of the League's top stars with Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos sidelined with a very serious injury.
What no one knew, outside of Stamkos' inner circle, until today is just how serious the surgery required to repair the problem will be, and it's very, very serious. Stamkos was ruled out for as much as long as three months as a result of a blood clot near his collar bone, but it will be another bone in his body that gets removed, yes removed, in order to correct the issue.
According to TSN insider Frank Seravalli, surgeons will be removing Stamkos' rib in order to remove some of the pressure caused by the blood clot:
Surgeons will likely remove Steven Stamkos’ top rib on his right side today to alleviate pressure that caused a blood clot to form near his collarbone.
It's also unclear how long Stamkos will be out, as the recovery process for this injury tends ot be a complicated one.
Forbes said that rib, which is bonded by the collarbone, constricts blood flow to the vein and can cause clotting with trauma or repetitive motion, such as raising your arms above your head. It isn’t easy to pinpoint a timeline for Stamkos’ return; the Lightning said between one and three months. “Normal recovery for range of motion and exercise would be about one month from just the surgery alone,” Dr. Forbes said. “Doctors would then recommend some period of time on blood thinners, perhaps one month, which also complicates the timeline.”
It will be extremely interesting to see how this impacts his value as a free agent.