Report: Steven Stamkos has surgery, expected to recover before next season

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos hoists the Stanley Cup following his team's Game 6 win in the Stanley Cup Final. (Dave Sandford/Getty)

Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos underwent successful surgery to repair a left-side lower abdominal core muscle injury and is expected to recover in time for the start of the new season, according to The Athletic's Joe Smith.

Stamkos, 30, suffered a lower-body injury prior to the NHL's return to play, which kept him out until Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Dallas Stars. The Lightning captain played just 2:47, all in the first period, and scored a goal in his team's win.

However, Stamkos aggravated the injury in that game and did not return to the series. He still managed to lift the Stanley Cup after the Lightning's triumph in Game 6.

Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois said that the team expected Stamkos' rehabilition process to last “weeks, not months,” and that he’d be ready for training camp ahead of next season, which could reportedly begin as early as Jan. 1.

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