Until recently, any notion that Lisnagarvey defender James Lorimer might have had of moving to the front line was restricted to joining the attack as a key member of the Hillsborough team's penalty corner strike-force.
All that was to change due to the Covid-19 outbreak which not only cancelled hockey but saw his day job as a physiotherapist take on an even more important perspective.
Lorimer was moved from his normal base at Musgrave Park to Belfast City Hospital, where he worked 12-hour shifts in the Nightingale intensive care unit.
The 24-year-old had to wear the full array of personal protective equipment which, he says, was much more challenging than playing hockey.
"When in the intensive care unit, we were required to wear our full PPE which consisted of a specially fitted mask, a hat, a face visor, a long sleeved gown, long surgical gloves and a waterproof apron," Lorimer explained.
"I think I sweated more wearing the full gear than in any hockey match I played last season!
"Not only was the PPE uncomfortable but it made communicating with staff and patients incredibly difficult as all you could identify other staff by was their name on their visor and their eyes.
"Treatment in the Nightingale intensive care unit included acute respiratory physiotherapy for patients that required ventilation as well as early mobilisation (helping patients get back on their feet).
"Wearing PPE, patients not only found it difficult to make out what I was saying but also were unable to see me smiling through my mask, reassuring them that they were doing well, which was challenging.
"The days were long but my physio colleagues were great and always up for a laugh despite the current situation."
Lorimer had to make personal sacrifices due to the nature of his job and, because of family circumstances, has had to move away from his loved ones.
"When I was informed that I was being redeployed to the City Hospital, I decided that it would be best for me to move out of my family home in Doagh, Co Antrim as my sister would be at higher risk as she has asthma," he added.
"Luckily, a brother of my Lisnagarvey team mate Andrew Edgar had an empty student house in Belfast and was able to offer me a place to stay."
While the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is easing slightly here, Lorimer sees physios continuing to play an important role in the roadmap to recovery.
Physiotherapy is going to be a vital service in the long-term recovery from the disease and my work has definitely made me more aware of infection prevention and control.
Despite extensive inside knowledge and experience as a health care professional, he says he has learned lessons from the crisis.
"I feel that now more and more patients are recovering from Covid-19 this, in turn, means that there are going to be a large number of patients that will require ongoing intensive physio rehabilitation," he said.
"Physiotherapy is going to be a vital service in the long-term recovery from the disease and my work has definitely made me more aware of infection prevention and control.
"I have seen this virus on the front line and the effects that it can have on both patients and their families."
Lorimer also sees Covid-19 having an impact on sport when it eventually returns to the calendar, with hockey due to resume in incremental steps beginning with training in small groups.
"I suppose, like any activity involving close personal interaction, there is always risk of spreading the virus," he warned.
"We will be closely following the advice from Sport Ireland and Sport NI and taking the lead from them in order to best manage the risk of transmission.
"Screening will likely be part of the return to sport pathway, along with public health authority advice to both limit the risk to athletes and prevent the spread."
While his job has put sport into even sharper perspective due to his experience on the front line, Lorimer dearly misses his hockey which provided a welcome distraction until the shutters came down on the season in March.
At that point, Garvey were five points clear at the top of the IHL with two games in hand but the season was later declared null and void.
Hockey has been in Lorimer's blood since he started playing as a six-year-old with Mossley and, before the lockdown, he had scored 13 goals for the Hillsborough club in the campaign.
He played for Ireland at every age-level in his youth and has won 11 senior caps for his country.
"The lockdown has definitely affected everyone in some shape or form whether that be physically or mentally," he said.
"For me, hockey has always been my outlet and something in my week that I looked forward to and enjoyed.
"Personally, I cannot wait to get back out on the pitch training and competing again. It feels like a lifetime at this point since I played at Lisnagarvey.
"Meeting team-mates and training is something that is irreplaceable but I feel that now sports such as golf and tennis have been allowed to resume, it's provided a massive lift for everyone and shows there's some light at the end of the tunnel."