Lightning star center Steven Stamkos says he hopes to begin practicing with light contact in Saturday's skate, the next step in his rehab from a broken right tibia.

Stamkos, who suffered the injury Nov. 11, said the 10-week x-ray taken Thursday night was encouraging, and if everything continutes to progress, he may be able to play in one of the Lightning's two home games (Feb. 6, Feb. 8) before the Olympic break. Stamkos has worn a red non-contact jersey during the team's practices the past week, but could start getting pushed more physically in Saturday's skate, with a key how his leg responds.

"I'm very pleased with how the bone is healing," Stamkos said. "I think it's pretty close to a point where it comes down to how I'm feeling out there."

Stamkos x-rays revealed enough bone formation where the leg is stable, and while there's some soft tissue pain, he's felt good each time he's tested it further, including doing more jumping in the gym Thursday night.