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Report: Steven Stamkos targeting an early February return

By Evan Hilbert | CBSSports.com

Lightning center Steven Stamkos could be back sooner than expected.
Lightning center Steven Stamkos could be back sooner than expected. (Getty Images)

Steven Stamkos surprised the hockey world last week when, just a few weeks after having surgery to repair a broken tibia, he was seen walking. At the time, there was hope that Stamkos could return in time for the Sochi Olympics.

According to Darren Dreger, the 23-year-old is hoping to make that a reality.

Stamkos is reportedly eyeing Tampa Bay 's Feb. 6 game with the Toronto Maple Leafs as his return date.

Team Canada, according to reports, will wait as long as possible before naming its roster, ostensibly to get a feel for how far along Stamkos is in his recovery. The deadline for Olympic rosters is January 7. Hockey Canada's first game is against Norway on Feb. 13.

Stamkos was initially projected to miss three-to-six months following the November surgery, and he has said that he doesn't plan to rush back to the ice.

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