Sheffield Steelers won't risk import goalie for EIHL mini series play offs
Steelers' coach Aaron Fox would dearly love to see first-choice goalie John Muse available for selection tomorrow night - but no risks will be taken with his fitness.
Muse suffered a muscular injury when he stepped out to play the puck in the first game of the EIHL mini series and has missed the following 11 contests.There is a chance he could be back to face Manchester Storm in the play off semi final first leg (8.30pm) at Nottingham.
"I am not going to risk his future; he is not going to risk his future" stated Fox.
"But I do believe he has come a long way, and wants to play some hockey.
"Injuries happen, re-injuries can happen, I have just got to trust what he says, what his body is telling him, what the physios are doing, strength tests and range of motion tests, if he's considered healthy then we'll make those decisions.
"He's the one that is driving the boat here because you can't tell somebody they are not injured, it's his body, his feeling, and if he says he can't play Tuesday we go with one of the other two guys (Ben Churchfield or Curtis Warburton.)
"If he says 'Let's go,' then he is going to hit the net."
Is the 32-year-old American netminder desperate to get back?
"I don't know, I don't really have those kinds of conversations with him. It's more: 'Was today a good day? How are you feeling? Let's get that next step.'
"Of course he wants to get back in as soon as possible."
Steelers play Tuesday and then opted to play the second leg against Storm on Thursday, giving Muse an extra day to recover.
Fox said he expected both teams to show the type of intensity you'd expect in play offs.
"Details will be very important, you have to make sure you don't give an inch. I came here to win this thing. I am sure they came here to win this thing."
Jonathan Phillips, the club captain, rounded off a memorable Sunday night by scoring twice against Storm, his 901st game for Sheffield.
"I moved him to play with Solder Olden and Robert Dowd (Brendan Connolly was rested.) He is not a natural centre but played a lot of centre for me last year. He is so reliable, pushes the pace...he played well.”