Jason Hewitt intends to return to assist Sheffield Steelers’ championship drive this weekend.
The winger has had to sit out the last 13 games with a knee injury.
But he hopes with a week of intense practice behind him, he will be ready to inflict his frustration on Belfast Giants in Friday and Saturday’s games at the Odyssey.
Hewitt said: “I skated (last week) and everything felt great, nothing lingering, no pain afterwards or swelling, hopefully I will have a good week running up to Belfast and make my comeback there, I just want to get back.”
The forward’s return would be a confidence booster for a team that has just lost twice to Nottingham Panthers.
But Hewitt doesn’t expect any favours from Giants: “Over the years no matter what kind of team they have had it’s always a tough place to go and get points, with the travel and whatever else. They are a good team, quite similar to us with good British players.”
Hewitt has particular respect for Belfast players Ray Sawada, Kevin Westgarth, Craig Peacock and his old team-mate Colin Shields.
“They have got a lot of dangerous players up front and in defence. They have a bit of everything, skills, grit, a really good third line. They are deep so it is a good match-up.”
Giants lost 5-2 at Braehead Clan on Sunday and were beaten at Hull and Cardiff recently.
But Hewitt said: “Their team is as good if not better than last year, it’s just sometimes things don’t click - but they are still right there (fourth in the table) so it’s not like they are struggling.”
Sheffield, remain top of the league by a point. Cardiff and Nottingham are also having a good year, he said, so it was a fair assumption that these teams had upgraded to catch up with the champions.
Nobody is taking anything for granted in the Sheffield locker room, he said. “We have got a real level-headed group in there, no-one is getting too far ahead of themselves.
“Half of the season is left and anything can happen.”