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Steven Stamkos sees little hope of returning in playoffs

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos (blood clots) says little has changed in his health outlook.

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Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said on Thursday that there's a real possibility he may not play at all in the postseason.

Speaking after taking part in the team's morning skate, Stamkos said nothing has changed in his status. He's been out of action since undergoing vascular surgery to address blood clot issues on April 4.

"There's been no set doctor's date where it was, 'We're going to go today and a decision is going to be made.' There was nothing ever in the works for that. So I can't update anything. I'm still in kind of a holding pattern."

For NHL players and other athletes, blood clots are a deadly threat

​Stamkos called his situation "unique" and said there's not a lot of clinical information to help with risk assessment.

"[It's] going to take a lot of information gathering and a lot of different opinions, and obviously, I don't know when that decision is going to be made for sure to either rule [me] in or rule [me] out," he said.

"[I'm] going to continue to work hard and hope the guys keep winning here."

The Lightning are missing both his leadership and his scoring touch in their Eastern Conference Finals series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Tampa Bay was badly outplayed in a 4–2 loss on Wednesday night and now trails, two games to one.

"We talked," Stamkos said. "Different guys voiced some opinions. Obviously, they knew that effort wasn't good enough. They don't need any of us guys watching the game to [tell them] that. They know that. So definitely expect better for next game."