IF it was up to Casey Haines, he would have already made his comeback from injury.
The Fife Flyers captain has been itching to get back in the line-up since his last appearance in the Hogmanay win over Edinburgh in Murrayfield on December 31.
Preferring only to describe it as a “lower body injury” to avoid being targeted, Haines had to be helped off the ice that night, and he has cut a frustrated figure on the sidelines ever since.
After returning to light skating last week, he was pushing to play in the weekend games that saw Flyers follow a 7-1 win at home to Edinburgh with a 4-1 defeat in Dundee.
Haines believed he was ready, but on the advice of physio Barry Gilchrist, he was not picked.
Now Haines has this Saturday’s match against Cardiff Devils firmly in his sights.
“I was pretty close to playing at the weekend,” he told the Press.
“I strapped it up and skated Tuesday and Friday.
“Tuesday was a struggle because I hadn’t skated since December 31, but I felt great on Friday.
“I was optimistic about playing but it was out of my hands.
“The coaches listened to what Barry the physio had to say and said absolutely not.
“My fiance could probably tell you I wasn’t the happiest person about that.
“Call me dumb but I just want to get back in line-up.
“The main reaason they are taking precautions is to not re-injure it.
“They have to put in the fact that I’ll be getting hit and pushed around.”
Haines will step up his training further this week and target a comeback against Cardiff.
“I’m not guaranteeing it, but if I’m not ready to play, I will be a very angry person,” he said,
“The only reason I wouldn’t play is if I had a set back in practice.
“I’ve been doing everything I can in the gym but now I need proper ice work outs.”
Haines stood behind the Flyers bench during Saturday’s win over Edinburgh and he enjoyed watching the team’s performance.
“It was nice,” he said. “I told Stewey and Dutes that was my first head coach victory.
“It’s always good when guys are going hard and we got goals from everyone, which was good to see.
“The top line got goals, Dutes got a goal, and Gunny got goal.
“When you have that third line scoring it gets their confidence going.”
Haines will be returning for a crucial period of the season as the race for the play-offs heats up.
There is also the small matter of a conference title to aim for, and Haines reckons Flyers are up to it.
“Top to bottom I feel our team is the best in the conference,” he said.
“It’s just the fact that everytime we start playing well we get an injury or something happens.
“Over Christmas we were flying, then my ankle goes down, guys get sick, and we pick up suspensions.
“It’s just been bad luck after bad luck, but hopefully that will change.”