Stingrays: Injured Cale Tanaka targets play-offs comeback
CALE Tanaka is ready to gamble with his broken wrist in order to help Rapid Solicitors Hull Stingrays reach the Elite League play-offs.
The 26-year-old Canadian has spent the last 10 games on the sidelines after being injured in Belfast.
However, the frustrated forward has now called time on his absence and will be back to face Dundee and Nottingham at Hull Arena this weekend.
"It's a gamble every time you go out on the ice," said Tanaka.
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"I'm going to play with the pot still on and see what I can do and if I can help the team out in any way.
"A lot of guys have played with pots on before so I'm not too concerned, it's not in the back of my mind.
"We've got two humongous games this weekend and I wanted to be a part of it."
While Tanaka's spirit is welcome, his return is not without its risks – particularly given his injury record this season.
Pre-Christmas he damaged his AC shoulder joint and returned to action only to have a strip of skin ripped off his nose by his helmet.
Add in broken teeth when the puck hit him in the face during training and it's not been a first season to remember in Rapid Solicitors Stingrays' colours.
Tanaka acknowledges he won't be at his best, given his lack of mobility and match fitness.
However, he is just keen to help Stingrays clock up their second four-point weekend in a row after the double triumph over Braehead and Fife.
"We'll be hoping for another four points," said Tanaka.
"The boys have been rolling lately and with our work ethic and the way we have been playing I don't see why we can't get four more points.
"It's a good atmosphere in the dressing room right now, there's lots of team cohesion.
"We're fighting tooth and nail for our play-off place and excited with the opportunity we've got."