Friendly fire: How Brandon Whistle sustained his injury

Brandon Whistle - injured in a hit by team mate Cole Shudra on practice ice - won't be back in the fray for Sheffield Steelers this weekend.
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The consistent centre-man played in Sheffield's pre-season games but was hurt in training and hasn't featured in any of the four EIHL games in league and Cup so far.

Whistle says he is frustrated by the turn of events, which have been similar to an issue going back to April.

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Then, he was hurt in a Great Britain challenge game against Hungary at Planet Ice Milton Keynes.

Brandon Whistle face off Pic by James AssinderBrandon Whistle face off Pic by James Assinder
Brandon Whistle face off Pic by James Assinder

That meant missing the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A at Nottingham, a tournament that he'd worked hard to stake a claim for.

Sheffield coach Aaron Fox said: "Any time there is an upper-body injury like that, after coming off the injury he had, there is going to be some concerns.

"We have had a scan, it is not going to be something that is going to be long, long term which is great."

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He said Whistle, aged 25, would probably not be back this coming weekend, for the single game at Coventry Blaze.

Robert Dowd 1,000-up Pic Dean WoolleyRobert Dowd 1,000-up Pic Dean Woolley
Robert Dowd 1,000-up Pic Dean Woolley

"We will make sure he will come back when he is ready and healthy."

Fox said Whistle had been taking part in "a small-area battle game and he turned and it was actually Shudes who rubbed him out.

"It was just an awkward position that his arm was in.

"It was a little unfortunate but we'll get him back."

Losing Whistle affects the four-line programme Sheffield rely on to wear opposition teams down.

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"You are mixing guys in and out, trying to double guys and it definitely changes the rhythm of your team" the coach admitted.

Steelers will visit a Coventry side on Saturday that is still smarting after a 10-goal thriller on home ice last Sunday.

Blaze were 3-1 and 4-3 up in front of their 1,665 fans against Fife Flyers...but then fell short, losing 6-4.

Danny Stewart said the display was not that you'd recognise from a Coventry side - their game mismanagement included turnovers and a lack of tracking-back, all of which clearly angered him.

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Meanwhile, Sheffield skipper Robert Dowd was oblivious to a couple of personal milestones that he chalked up, last weekend.

In the 6-0 Challenge Cup win at Nottingham Panthers, he recorded his 1,000th total career appearance.

"I had no idea" he said.

Sunday's home loss to Cardiff Devils, saw him pull on a Steelers' jersey for 745th time.

In the present line-up, he is followed by Shudra with 169 outings.