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Lightning forward Mitchell Stephens ‘not close’ to returning to ice


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Mitchell Stephens, a young center in his second season with the Tampa Bay Lightning, is “not close” to returning to the ice.

His head coach, Jon Cooper, commented on his status on Monday.

“He is ways away,” said Cooper, “so he had surgery. He had a significant injury and it wasn’t a weeks thing.”

Stephens missed the past nine games with a lower body injury. He got tangled with David Savard, a defenseman with the Columbus Blue Jackets, in the third period of the game on January 23. Stephens could not put any pressure on his right leg and he had to be helped to the locker room.

“It is probably a couple months type thing, like eight weeks,” said Cooper, “so, I do not know, what is he in? Maybe like two and a half weeks, probably, so he has a little bit more time and he is rehabbing and stuff like that but he is not close.”

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