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Lightning's Stamkos cleared to return from injury


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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos has been cleared to play after being sidelined since November by a broken right shin.

The team announced Wednesday that Stamkos will return to the lineup Thursday night at home against Buffalo. He was injured on Nov. 11 at Boston.

Stamkos has 14 goals and 23 points in 17 games this season.

The injury kept the high-scoring forward from playing for Canada in the Sochi Olympics. He was replaced on the Olympic roster by Martin St. Louis, who was traded Wednesday to the New York Rangers.

Stamkos was cleared after X-rays showed his leg has healed. He called it an exciting day, noting he has "a new perspective" on his career," as well as a deeper appreciation for the hard work necessary to be successful.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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