Deeside Dragons will welcome back prolific forward James Parsons for this weekend’s games against Coventry Blaze and Altrincham Aces.
The 28-year-old suffered a fractured cheekbone in a horror collision during his side’s 12-1 win over Bradford Bulldogs in November.
Parsons has since undergone facial surgery to repair the injury and is likely to wear a face cage for much of the rest of the season.
And Deeside coach Lol Paul is looking forward to seeing him back in a Dragons jersey this weekend.
He said: “It’s fantastic to have James back in the team, although he will of course be wearing a visor. He’s been training with us for a while and has looked good in the drills.
“James has naturally been keen to get back playing, but I’ll probably be flexible with his shifts for the first few games. He is one of our top scorers and I’m sure he’ll slot straight back in.
“January is a very busy and important month for us. We’ll have some other guys back, such as Ross Kennedy, so we’ll be a lot stronger against Coventry and Manchester.”
Saturday’s clash with Coventry at Chester Road is a carbon copy of Deeside’s final home fixture of 2015, when they put in a dominant performance to beat the Blaze 7-1.
But Paul will urge his players to put memories of that win to the back of their minds.
He added: “If we underestimate teams, it is apparent straight away and we have to get on top of that. As far as the players go, we have to be strict on how we start games.
“We are top of the Laidler Conference and the table doesn’t lie. If we play at our best throughout games, then we’ll be fine. The mental side, at this stage of the season, is really important.”
Sunday sees Deeside make the trip to face local rivals Altrincham, a team that has struggled to maintain a consistent run of form so far this season.
“Altrincham have strengthened since we last played them and are very good on home ice,” Paul said.
“We need to go there flying and go for the points. That is what it’s all about now. Whether we win well, or win ugly, we need to keep going for the points if we want to win the league.”
Saturday night’s game against Coventry Blaze, at Deeside Ice Rink, faces off at 7pm.