Belfast Giants keen to welcome back trio
Derrick Walser is hoping for positive medical reports on injured trio Jim Vandermeer, Alex Foster and Steve Saviano ahead of this weekend's home opener against the Fife Flyers.
All three players were forced to sit out Saturday night's first competitive game of the season as the Giants suffered a 5-2 Challenge Cup loss to the Flyers in Kirkcaldy.
And all three were sorely missed as the new campaign got off to a disappointing start.
Walser had added Foster and Saviano to his roster in the hope that they would provide fire-power and without them only David Rutherford was able to weigh in with goals.
As well as that the defensive unit wasn't quite the same without the hugely experienced Vandermeer on board.
Although there are more important contests to come when the Elite League title battle begins in earnest next month following a September that is dominated by Challenge Cup group games, Walser will want to gets wins on the board as soon as possible in order to build confidence as he targets a run at the league crown.
Any confidence that there was in the team took a serious battering as Fife raced into a 3-0 first-period lead on Saturday night.
Three goals in the space of 10 minutes from Stephen Gunn, Sebastien Thinel and David Turon put the Flyers in control before the first break and even with two thirds of the game there was a lot of work for the Giants to do.
Rutherford pulled one back just 24 seconds into the second period and after Justin Fox put Fife 4-1 up three minutes later it was Rutherford who struck again to cut the lead to two goals.
Chase Scheber netted Fife's fifth goal with seven minutes to go to make sure of the victory.