Revealed: the extent of Sheffield Steelers' injuries
Sheffield Steelers players are taking to the ice with broken hand, fractured ribs and kidney injuries, coach Paul Thompson has confirmed.
The severity of wounds involving individual skaters is not something clubs reveal in detail, very often.
But Thompson has given a limited insight, illustrating what sacrifices players are making as the Elite League season draws to its conclusion, with Steelers in third spot.
The coach is in the difficult position where he wouldn’t want to rest players unless its vital - given the need for momentum going into the Play Offs.
But nor does he want to risk harming the player any more.
He confirmed that hand, rib and kidney complaints were being endured by skaters and stated: “We’ve got some committed boys playing through injuries right now, taking injections before every game.”
Yared Hagos and Colton Fretter were absent last weekend and Markus Nilsson picked up a fresh issue on Sunday.
“We want to get some momentum” said Thompson, but added it would be hard to bring players back just before the plays offs because they need to work on rhythm and timing, he said. “If we can get them back next weekend, four games prior to the quarter finals, that will be a big thing for us.”
Steelers travel to Belfast on Friday and then host Cardiff for the second time in six days.
“We have just got to do our job” said the coach. Belfast are a talented hockey club. We want to catch them. And we want to beat Cardiff; nothing changes.”
Thompson was delighted that Rob Dowd’s line with Andreas Valdix and Levi Nelson was harvesting so many points.
“That line is really bringing it, offensively, now.” He also defended Zack Fitzgerald, thrown out of the game at Braehead, saying a kneeing incident was accidental.