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Team Canada loses Steven Stamkos for Olympics

Steven Stamkos

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos asjusts his helmet strap during NHL hockey practice in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. Stamkos, who broke his leg in November, hopes that he will be able to play with the Lightning and then participate in the Sochi winter Olympic games next month for Canada. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)

AP

The Canadian men’s hockey team will be without the services of Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos for the Sochi Olympics.

After fracturing his right tibia in a November contest against the Boston Bruins, Stamkos was looking to return to the ice for the Lightning on Saturday. Unfortunately for him and Team Canada, the Lightning announced today that he was not cleared for game participation and had been ruled out for Sochi.

“Today is obviously very disappointing for me,” Stamkos said in a team statement. “I honestly believe that we did everything possible in order to have my injured leg ready in time for the Olympics, but I realize you can’t force healing.

MORE: Pro Hockey Talk Poll - Who should replace Stamkos on Team Canada?

“I know, in the best interest of my long term health, I cannot represent Canada in Sochi, as much as I would like to. I would like to thank the training staff for their dedication and hard work and I look forward to returning to the Lightning once cleared by the medical team.”

Stamkos will continue his rehabilitation and is set to be re-evaluated in two to three weeks.

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