TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Tampa Bay Lightning have placed their captain, Steven Stamkos, on long-term injured reserve with a lower body injury.

“It is unfortunate that it has happened,” said Jon Cooper, the head coach of the Lightning, “but I always say in these situations, maybe it is a little short-term pain for long-term gain.”  

According to the rules surrounding that move, Stamkos cannot play for 10 games and 24 days, so he will not be able to return to the ice until May 5 when the Lightning host the Dallas Stars at Amalie Arena.

“He has had a great season for us and scored a ton of goals and he is just a difference-maker,” said Lightning defenseman Ryan McDonagh. “No doubt he will be missed and we look forward and hope for a speedy recovery for him. The guy has got a relentless attitude and, when he does come back and he is ready to suit up, he is going to give us his best effort.”

Cooper added “by no means” does this situation mean Stamkos is finished for the season. He said he would know within the next 24 hours if the injury is related to his previous core muscle injury.

Stamkos has already missed three games since he was injured in the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on April 8.