It is not ideal, in your testimonial year, to be warming the bench as your team plays on without you.
But you won’t hear Mark Thomas complaining - he’s a team-comes-first kind of guy
Thomas sat out the vast majority of last weekend’s two Sheffield Steelers’ games in Scotland.
With the arrival of another, younger Brit, in Ben O’Connor, competition for places on the blue line is more acute than ever.
But nine-season Thomas, 31, will be waiting this weekend, if the call for his services comes.
Coach Gerad Adams explained: “I have to pick a team that gives us the best chance to win and I want six d-men in a stable rhythm and playing in comfortable pairings.
“Tommo had minimal ice time on Saturday (10-2 win over Edinburgh) and none on the Sunday (4-2 defeat at Dundee Stars.)
“I really like Mark Thomas as a person and a player and there was no complaining from him. He is a good professional with a great attitude and understands. He will be playing a lot down the stretch.” Steelers are at Nottingham on Saturday.