Steven Stamkos Cleared For Light Contact In Practice, Nears Return (Photo)

Steven Stamkos‘ recovery process continues to progress at a rapid rate.

The Tampa Bay Lightning forward was wearing a yellow practice jersey when he took the ice on Saturday morning, indicating that he has been cleared for light contact.

Stamkos suffered a broken right tibia Nov. 11 against the Boston Bruins. While the injury was initially thought to be a season-ending one, the Lightning star is blowing everyone away with how fast he is healing. Now, two-and-a-half months later, Stamkos is nearing a return to game action, which is great news for his Tampa Bay squad as well as Team Canada.

Stamkos, who was named to Canada’s roster despite his uncertain status, hopes to return to the ice before the Olympic break begins Feb. 8. The quick return to the ice would beat even the “aggressive” timeline that Stamkos set for his return.

“When we talked about it being three months, 12 weeks, it was very aggressive,” Stamkos said via the Tampa Bay Times. “But saying that, I like to think that being young and being able to do all the rehab I’ve been able to do, having that positive mindset that it can be before that. That’s obviously something that we were shooting at as soon as I was in the hospital, 12 weeks from now, hopefully I can be back. That’s the goal, we’re going to shoot towards that goal and hopefully we can accomplish it.”

Before Stamkos went down, he registered 14 goals and 23 points in 17 games.