JAMES JORGENSEN is on stand-by to play his first game for Sheffield Steelers tonight since breaking his ankle in November.
The defenceman will make his comeback at Braehead Clan in the Challenge Cup semi-final if Steve Goertzen (upper body injury) or Shawn Limpright (wife expecting a baby) are unavailable.
Goertzen’s collided with team-mate Rod Sarich at Dundee Stars and is struggling.
It’s a headache for coach Ryan Finnerty, who already has to deal with the team’s potentially fragile psychological state after falling off the pace in the Elite League chase.
Sheffield’s roster was criticised in The Star by former skipper Rob Wilson, yesterday, who said it was a “disgrace” that arch rivals Nottingham Panthers seem on the cusp of landing the title for the first time since 1956.
Finnerty responded: “I like Willy, but I don’t think he has seen us play against Nottingham this year; we have more than held our own and no game has been a love affair. Nottingham are easy to hate and to insinuate we have been soft or uncompetitive is ridiculous.”
The coach won’t formally accept Sheffield are out of the league race until it is mathematically impossible.
But he says: “I cannot see them slipping up, but you never know, if they have a bad weekend the pressure is on.
“Every game is important to us, we are not rolling over.”