ASHLEY Tait plans to start an incredible 23rd season in professional ice hockey in tip-top shape.
The 37-year-old Sheffield Steelers’ right wing suffered serious ankle ligament damage against eventual champions Belfast Giants.
And while the Irish never looked back from that game on February 5, Steelers’ season fizzled out.
The injury didn’t need surgery, but Tait knew that he would be hobbling for months, with no chance of making the Play Offs.
Tait reckons he’s still only 85 per cent fit to this day.
Which begs the question whether the elder statesmen of the team will be able to kick-start a new campaign with the same gusto as previous seasons.
“I an nowhere near skating yet, right now its about building up strength” he says.
“You have to be patient in situations like this, the surgeon said there is no quick fix. But I am 100 per cent confident that it will be fully healed.
“As you get a little older you have to smarten up in the way you treat yoour body.
“But I am working towards August 26 when we start getting back together again. I want to come back at full throttle.”
*Colt King, who was fired by Steelers before the Play Offs started, has signed for Kansas team Missouri Mavericks.
Mavericks coach Scott Hillman told the Examiner: “Colt is a difference-maker on the ice. “His combination of skill and toughness, and his combination of point production and physical presence on the ice is matched by very few players in the Central Hockey League.
“We could not be more pleased than to add Colt to our roster as we try to continue to climb to the top of the CHL. We were close last season. We did not get there. Colt King can help us get there.”