Sheffield Steelers will try and seek temporary cover if their current crop of injuries turn out even worse than expected.
On Sunday night, after a hit at Coventry Blaze’s Skydome, a hospitalised Levi Nelson joined Matt Marquardt, Zack Fitzgerald, Colton Fretter and Mathieu Roy on the injury list.
Coach Paul Thompson said Nelson’s predicament was “the last thing we needed coming on the back of the injuries we already have.”
The club won’t seek to bring anybody unless at least one of the casualties is likely to be sidelined for weeks. And that probably won’t be entirely clear for a couple of days.
Coach Paul Thompson described the 8-2 defeat to Blaze on Sunday as “a match to far” in terms of the club’s pre-season preparation. In their eight games, four against Elite League opponents, Steelers have won three times.
The absences of forwards has certainly had a negative impact on the team’s offensive punch - they have scored only two goals in each of their last three games.
Through no fault of their own, Steelers, who pride themselves as meticulous planners, now head towards the first weekend of serious combat without any clear idea what players will be available.
Steelers open their Challenge Cup programme on Saturday with a match at Manchester Storm - who beat them in Altrincham 4-2 last month.
Then, on Sunday, they welcome Nottingham Panthers for the first time of the 2017-8 campaign. On Saturday, Panthers beat SC Bern (Switzerland) 4-2.