ULSTERMAN David Ames is currently sidelined with a broken foot, but he is hoping to be fully recovered in good time for the next stage of his club's EuroHockey League campaign.
The former Cookstown midfielder has been a sensation at Nottingham club Beeston where his talents have helped take them to the top of the English Premier League, but the injury means he wasn't able to take his place when the league programme resumed after its mid-winter break during which the focus had switched to the indoor game.
His absence has caused problems for the Bees who not only got knocked out of the cup but slumped to a 3-2 league defeat last weekend against Surbiton for whom fellow Ulsterman and Ireland striker Michael Watt was on the scoresheet.
It means they squandered a great chance to extend their four-point lead at the top, as nearest rivals Reading – with Ulstermen Chris Cargo and John Jackson in their ranks – also suffered defeat. East Grinstead's game was called off due to the weather and that meant that Surbiton were the big winners over the weekend in that they were the only one of the top four to chalk up a victory.
"I broke a few metatarsals during a friendly game ahead of the league re-starting and I'm in one of those 'moonboots' for a month or two," explains David.
"I'm hoping to get back for the European campaign, but the main priority is to get everything put right and be ready for next season which will be an important one. I'll only make a comeback when I'm sure all is well.
"At the moment our club have been hit with a handful of injuries, including internationals Harry Martin and goalkeeper George Pinner, so we're going to be a light for a while."
Ames is a coach with MT13, a hockey coaching company run by former Great Britain star Matt Taylor and also includes Ulstermen Iain Lewers and Chris Gregg.
He is also hockey development officer at Rugby School and head coach for the University of Nottingham's 1st XI.
Beeston's next EuroHockey League game is the KO16 tie against Belgian side Waterloo Ducks on April 17 with the winners meeting either Bruxelles or Rott-Weiss Koln in the quarter-finals the following day.
Another Ulsterman was on the scoresheet for his English club last weekend, with former Cookstown midfielder Ian Sloan converting a penalty corner for Loughborough Students.
Unfortunately Loughborough lost 4-3 to Sheffield Hallam and it means that these two and Cannock are locked together on seven points, well adrift of the pack.
Both Ames and Sloan switched their allegiance from Ireland to England and Great Britain but must remain in the international wilderness until 2015.