Pelle gets skates on for return to action
Jon Pelle has given the Belfast Giants' Elite League title challenge a major boost by making a return to the ice.
The Giants' capture of the American was the biggest summer signing in the Elite League, after he topped the goal charts while playing for the Cardiff Devils.
Fans have still to see Pelle in competitive action, although that first game has moved closer with the 25-year-old resuming training.
But the good news about Pelle is tempered by the fact that assistant captain Nick Kuiper has joined the injury list which also includes team captain Jeremy Rebek.
Kuiper is definitely out of the weekend trip to Scotland, when the Giants will face the Fife Flyers on Saturday followed by the Edinburgh Capitals on Sunday. A decision will be made later in the week about Mark Garside, who had to have stitches in his eyelid last weekend.
"Pelle has started to skate. He is at least a couple weeks away but he is progressing nicely," said coach Doug Christiansen.
"I expect him to play in October. Rebek is able to ride the bike, but has not been cleared to skate. I do not expect him to play in October."
Kuiper sustained his injury in last Friday's win over Fife, yet he managed to play in Saturday's victory against the Nottingham Panthers, when the Giants won to claim top spot in the league.
"Nick played with a tremendous amount of pain on Saturday. It was an incredible performance," said Christiansen.
"He has not trained this week and I do not expect him on the ice at all this week. His status will be re-evaluated next week, but he will not play this weekend.
"Garside is coming along very nicely. His eye is sore, but it may heal before the weekend.
"We will follow the doctors' orders. If he is cleared to play he will be in the line-up against Fife, but that is still to be determined."