Stamkos Close, but Still Not Ready to Return to Ice

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images(TAMPA, Fla.) -- Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos is close to returning from a broken leg that he suffered on Nov. 11 in a game against the Boston Bruins.

Stamkos is targeting Mach 6 against Buffalo as his first game back.
"It feels great," Stamkos said. "I feel like I'm ready to play. It's just a matter of getting the thing perfect, really, before I come back."
            

Stamkos had X-rays on Monday, which he says showed good results. Still, Tampa Bay remains cautious, which means Stamkos will be held out of the team's four-game road trip that begins in Nashville Thursday.

Stamkos has now missed 41 games this season. Before the injury, he played in 17 games compiling 14 goals and nine assists.

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