Blackburn HAWKS forward Ric Hughes will be sidelined for up to 10 weeks with an aggravated knee injury picked up in the 4-2 victory over Manchester.
Hughes, who has been carrying the knock for most of the season, left the ice midway through the second period last Sunday and did not return to action for the final 20.
Following examination this week, doctors have advised an operation will be necessary, followed by significant rest and rehabilitation time to prevent further or permanent damage.
Hawks player coach Jared Owen said: “We’re obviously gutted to hear the news from Ric’s doctor about his knee. Since his return this season he’s been a big part of the team on and off the ice and made a big contribution to the success we’ve had.
“It’s never nice to lose a player to something like this during a season, but the health of his knee must come before hockey and we wish him a speedy recovery from his operation and rehabilitation work.
“Ric will still be massively involved in the team for the remainder of the season and he know’s he has the support of his team mates and coaching staff while he recovers.”
Concerns were also raised last week when defenceman Ollie Lomax left the ice with an apparent shoulder injury.
Lomax, who has suffered from similar injuries before, is expected to train with the Hawks this evening and indications are good that he will return to action this Sunday against the Sheffield Spartans.
(Images by John Milton – togger.co.uk)