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Lightning rule Steven Stamkos out ‘four months or longer’ with lateral meniscus tear

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It’s the second major injury for the Tampa Bay captain in a year.

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Florida Panthers Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Update 11/17: Noted expert Bob McKenzie has Stamkos’ timetable at about four months, or longer.

After awaiting news on the severity of their captain’s injury, the Tampa Bay Lightning apparently received the kind they didn’t want to hear.

Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman announced on Wednesday that center Steven Stamkos would remain out “indefinitely” after tearing the lateral meniscus in his knee during the Lightning’s win over Detroit on Tuesday.

If the term “indefinitely” sounds vague, that’s by design. Yzerman said in a statement that the team and Stamkos are exploring options:

"Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos suffered a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee during the team's game against the Detroit Red Wings Tuesday night and will remain out of the lineup indefinitely," said Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman. "We are in the process of evaluating options for repair and rehabilitation and will release more information as it becomes available."

Stamkos scored early on Tuesday, briefly tying the league lead in points with 20. Moments later, Stamkos found himself entangled in a boards battle and hobbled off the ice. He did not return.

Stamkos’ injury is the latest in a string for both the Lightning and the NHL in general. Jonathan Drouin has not played in a week with an upper-body injury, and Cedric Paquette was injured on Tuesday when Red Wings forward Steve Ott landed a high hit on him.

In addition, the New Jersey Devils announced that Taylor Hall will miss up to four weeks with a similar meniscus injury. Stamkos missed most of last season dealing with a blood clot before signing an eight-year contract extension this summer.