Lecavalier could return late next week

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The Tampa Bay Lightning might get Vincent Lecavalier (fractured hand) back late next week.

“I’m hoping,” Lecavalier said. “I want to play as soon as soon as possible but I have to be smart, too.”

One complication is that Lecavalier’s broken bone is beside the one he had surgery on in 2010-11. As a result, he’s had CT scans and MRI exams every 10-12 days to observe the healing process. It’s also worth noting that Lecavalier isn’t able to shoot the puck yet.

Still, after missing nearly a month, it looks like there’s finally some light at the end of the tunnel. Tampa Bay has done their best to get by without him, but they are still on the outside looking in when it comes to the battle for a playoff spot. They are seven points behind the eighth seed Capitals. Washington has played in one extra game than Tampa Bay, but that’s still a monstrous deficit to overcome this late in the season. The Lightning will try to keep hope alive when they battle the Boston Bruins on Tuesday.