Bolts send Stamkos (knee) home from road trip, will be evaluated in Tampa

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The knee injury Steven Stamkos suffered during Tuesday’s 4-3 win over Detroit is serious enough to end his road trip.

Well, presumably end it.

On Wednesday, the Lightning announced that Stamkos had been returned to Tampa Bay for further medical evaluation, adding they had “no other updates at this time.”

The Bolts are currently two games into a five-game road swing, with dates remaining in Buffalo, Philly and Nashville — meaning that, barring a good diagnosis and speedy recovery, Stamkos won’t rejoin the team until it returns home for a date with Philly on Nov. 23.

Losing Stamkos for any length of time would hurt.

He’s off to a fantastic start this year, with 20 points through his first 17 games, and established terrific chemistry alongside Nikita Kucherov on the club’s top line. Despite playing just 2:07 against Detroit last night, Stamkos still managed to score his ninth goal of the year.

Of course, Tampa Bay does have experience dealing with Stamkos’ absence. He missed more than half of the ’13-14 regular season with a broken leg, and missed almost all of last year’s playoff run while dealing with ramifications from a blood clotting issue.