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Victor Hedman Injury Update: Could Return By January 31

The Lightning have been without defenseman Victor Hedman for the past 13 games, but according to recent reports, Hedman could make his return at the Lightning's next game. Hedman has missed a considerable amount of time while recovering from a concussion, but he appears to finally be symptom-free:

"The biggest symptom I have right now is trying to breathe," he said after the tough workout. "It's a matter of time when I get back into game shape. ... The last couple of days have been awesome. You work your (behind) off and you're tired, but the best feeling right now is being tired and feeling good afterward. That's the best feeling I can feel right now." (Damian Cristodero, Tampa Bay Times)

Hedman is the best defender on the Bolts, so getting him back will be a huge boost to the team. He logs very difficult minutes, primarily playing in the defensive zone against other teams' top lines, and he's been a key force on the Bolts' penalty kill this season. He's still a young player and has room for growth, which makes it all the more exciting that the Lightning signed him to an affordable long-term extension early this season.

Come back soon, Victor. The Lightning may have won four in a row, but their defense certainly could use the help.

For more on the Lightning, check out SB Nation's blog on the Bolts, Raw Charge.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.