Frank Doyle could be out for the rest of Sheffield Steelers’ season.
The Canadian netminder has missed the last 12 games because of a flare-up on old wrist injury.
He’d had an operation on his hand a few years ago and medical staff believe he now needs a “long period of rest.”
The goalie had been an ever-present since joining the club, but at 34 years of age, his hockey future appears now to be in jeopardy.
The man brought in to replace him Josh Unice, 25, suffered a concussion against Nottingham on February 19 and is being monitored day to day. A decision is likely tomorrow on whether he will play in the games at Hull Stingrays and Coventry Blaze this weekend.
Geoff Woolhouse has groin issues and is out.
In the worst case scenario, and Unice cannot play, Steelers will again have to borrow a goaltender - as they did midweek with Telford Tigers’ Sam Gospel.
Coach Gerad Adams accepts it is a tall order, but says the club has made enough contacts recently to be confident they could find a goalie if they have to.
Gospel back-stopped Steelers to a memorable win at Nottingham and Adams said: “Part of my thinking in loaning Sam was that he was a Nottingham boy who knew the rink and some of the shooters.
“While I didn’t know him before I will definitely keep an eye on him in the future. I was very happy for him and it was a great night for him and his family and friends.”