It’s been almost a full year since Steven Stamkos suffered a broken right tibia, causing him to miss four months of last season.
He returned in March, even scoring a hat trick before the regular season was through, while the Tampa Bay Lightning clinched a playoff spot before getting eliminated in the opening round.
One of the league’s most prolific scorers since entering the league in 2008-09, Stamkos admitted he’s still trying to move on from the injury, which ultimately left him off Canada’s Olympic team that won gold in Russia.
Stamkos, who scored a hat trick earlier this week against Montreal, and the Lightning are in Vancouver to face the Canucks at Rogers Arena on Saturday.
“I think I want to get to a point where I don’t even notice it’s there any more, I mean physically,” Stamkos told the Vancouver Sun.
“I think when you feel something physically, the mind’s always going to know it’s there. I’m in a way better state than I was last year, that’s for sure, where you were trying to protect it on the ice. We’re past that now, where I’m back to being able to just read the game and react out there.
“But you do know it’s there, so I guess to answer your question, we’re not there yet. I want to get to a point where I can wake up one morning and not even realize that the injury happened.”