Sheffield Steelers not back to full strength yet, but promising news on Josh McFadden

Josh McFadden is likely to return to Sheffield Steelers' blue line this weekend.

Wednesday, 6th February 2019, 07:27 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 16:50 pm
Josh McFadden on the boards

The offensive defenceman has been out with a hamstring issue; in all he has missed nine games.

Only the team's top four point scorers (Josh Pitt, Evan McGrath, Mark Matheson and Ben O'Connor) have scored more assists than him – so coach Tom Barrasso will be pleased if he passes his fitness tests.

McFadden's hamstring complaint followed a more severe injury in the same area as that suffered by winger Eric Neiley, who is now back in the line-up.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Neiley suffered a partial tear in a freak training ice accident.

During a battle drill, his heel became caught in the ice and a team-mate toppled on top of him.

The Star understands McFadden's issue is completely different in that his problem was associated with the volume of skating he'd been doing, it had had a cumulative effect on the problem area.

The Canadian is skating again and is tipped to play against third-place Nottingham Panthers on Saturday, on the 18th anniversary of the infamous "Battle of Lower Parliment Street" where a full-scale riot ensued, featuring the likes of Dennis Vial, Scott Allison, Greg Hadden and Barrie Nieckar.

One player who won't be resuming pleasantries with Nottingham, this weekend, will be injured Robert Dowd.

It is too early to tell when he will return to action - there is a chance it could be in the corresponding fixture at Nottingham on February 16.

Steelers need a win over Rick Strachan's team to keep in the top eight play off pack.