Patient approach required by Aaron Johnson as Sheffield Steelers target Challenge Cup rebound against Nottingham Panthers

MISSING IN ACTION: Aaron Johnson is picking up some invaluable experience on the Sheffield Steelers' bench while he waits to be ready to play again. Picture: Dean Woolley
MISSING IN ACTION: Aaron Johnson is picking up some invaluable experience on the Sheffield Steelers' bench while he waits to be ready to play again. Picture: Dean Woolley
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AARON JOHNSON may currently be learning the value of being patient – but he is benefitting in the long-term from the fresh perspective he is getting behind the bench at Sheffield Steelers.

The 36-year-old veteran defenceman is out long-term with a hand injury sustained over two weeks ago which has seen him require surgery for the first time in his career.

AARON JOHNSON: Enjoying his time behind the bench but desperate to get back on the ice.

AARON JOHNSON: Enjoying his time behind the bench but desperate to get back on the ice.

There is no firm date for his return to the ice but, already assigned as player-assistant coach by boss Aaron Fox for the 2019-20 campaign, the Canadian is learning different skills while stuck on the sidelines.

Johnson has made no secret of the fact that he wants to make the switch into a coaching career at some point in the future and, although he has no intention of hanging his skates up just yet, he is enjoying the fresh perspective he is getting alongside head coach Fox and assistant coach Carter Beston-Will.

“It’s definitely frustrating for me being out at the minute, and I’m trying to make the best of the opportunity of working behind the bench with Aaron and Carter,” said Johnson.

“I wish it could go faster but you just need to be patient in situations like this.

It’s definitely frustrating for me being out, but being on the bench has been great, in another way – just trying to pick up little things from them, not trying to do too much, just help out the guys when I can.

Sheffield Steelers’ Aaron Johnson

“Fourtunately, I’ve managed to stay pretty healthy throughout my career. I had a knee injury one time, but nothing too extensive.

“This is my first surgery, so that is something new to me – I’m just learning how to be patient and take care of it.

“But being on the bench has been great, in another way – just trying to pick up little things from them, not trying to do too much, and just help out the guys when I can.”

Steelers will look to arrest a three-game losing streak in all competitions with this weekend’s double-header against Nottingham Panthers.

With Johnson and fellow defencemen Jonas Liwing and Aaron Brocklehurst all on the injury list, Fox moved quickly to add reinforcements in the shape of in 31-year-old Czech defensemen, Marek Trončinský.

“He should help us in all situations and felt like he was the best overall D-man that had been offered,” said Fox.