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Back on ice: Liam Reddox returned to action this week

Back on ice: Liam Reddox returned to action this week

William Cherry/Presseye

Back on ice: Liam Reddox returned to action this week

While the majority of the Belfast Giants roster took a week off during the Elite League break for Team GB's Olympic qualifiers, Liam Reddox was one of the few who stayed in Belfast.

Dealing with an injury sustained prior to the break that saw him miss a handful of games, the winger decided that, rather than heading away, he would do everything he could during the week to accelerate his rehab and get back on the ice.

That meant several skating sessions by himself, taking to the rink at the SSE Arena on his own, making sure he was up to speed in preparation for a return to the line-up once the Giants resumed their campaign, as well as a few solo trips to the gym to work on his conditioning.

But not just that, it was a chance for Reddox to take stock of what has gone so far this season, and the former Vaxjo Lakers captain has returned with a renewed mindset for the rest of the campaign.

"(The break) helped a lot mentally, I hadn't been on the ice for a while so it just helped with that feeling of working towards something and trying to get back in the line-up," said Reddox.

"It was nice to be alone, clear my mind and just remember how lucky I am to get to play hockey.

"Not playing and not being on the ice is hard. At the same time, it's good to see games and see practices from another angle, from up in the stands. That way I can see things that I can improve on or the team can improve on.

"It was good. It's a long season. Like I said, it's not fun to be injured but you have to take it as positively as you can."

Now that he's back, things have been looking up for the 34-year-old, who picked up his first point since the break with an assist in Wednesday's win over the Guildford Flames.

"I'm feeling strong. The injury's not bothering me too much, so that's a good thing," he added.

"I'm just trying to get my form back to where it needs to be. I've been happy with the first couple of games, so it's trying to improve on those performances and being as good as I can be for the rest of the season."

The Giants continue the push to defend their Elite League title with a big weekend, travelling to the Manchester Storm tonight (7pm) before taking on league leaders the Sheffield Steelers, who they trail by three points in the standings, tomorrow (4pm).

Belfast will start a run of seven home games in a row after this weekend's double-header on the road, but Reddox insists they aren't looking any further than the Storm clash tonight.

"We'll let the supporters and reporters talk about the narratives. For us, tomorrow is the most important game. We have to take care of business there first because we all know the situation," says the winger.

"We know we have a big run of home games but we have to get it done on the road first before we come home, then we can start chipping away."

Belfast Telegraph