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Steven Stamkos Says He’s Ready
According to Joe Smith: Steven Stamkos says this is the best his surgically-repaired right knee has felt since his mid-November major procedure to repair a torn lateral meniscus.

According to Smith, Stamkos stated:

“When you’ve gone through the tough stretch I’ve been through in the last 4-5 years, it’s tough to know what 100-percent is,” Stamkos said upon joining the team’s informal workouts in Brandon. “I don’t think you’ll know. It’s the best it’s felt since the surgery. Way better than where I ended the season. It’s been getting better and better everyday. I haven’t looked this forward to a training camp in a long time.”

Smith said: “The captain did his best to return by the end of the season as the Lightning was fighting for its playoff life, but realizes how he wasn’t nearly ready.”

“Knowing what I know now and how I feel now, I wasn’t even close,” Stamkos said. “I might have thought so at the time. It’s funny how you go through the summer and the training and strengthening and skating, and how much better it gets. It’s almost night and day to where it felt physically and mentally towards the end of last season. I know there’s the competitive nature in anyone, you want to play, you want to help, the position we were in, so close. I wanted to get out there and forcing yourself to thinking you’re ready. When you’re not putting pressure on yourself, you listen to your body, it’s amazing how much better I’ve felt since then. I probably wasn’t as close as I thought.”

“Last year was disappointing, we know that can’t happen again, especially with the guys we have and guys we added. We realize what’s at stake and that’s to start off the year a hell of a lot better than we have in the past.  And don’t look back.” 

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