Sheffield Steelers v Belfast Giants - How Aaron Fox plans to deal with loss of Aaron Johnson broke the same finger for a second time.

UNLUCKY: Sheffield Steelers' defenceman and assistant coach, Aaron Johnson, faces another 8-10 weeks on the sidelines. Picture courtesy of Dean Woolley.
UNLUCKY: Sheffield Steelers' defenceman and assistant coach, Aaron Johnson, faces another 8-10 weeks on the sidelines. Picture courtesy of Dean Woolley.
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SHEFFIELD STEELERS have extended the stay of Mikko Kuukka after fellow defenceman Aaron Johnson suffered a ‘freak’ recurring injury.

Johnson, who also serves as an assistant to head coach Aaron Fox, missed the first 19 games of the season after breaking a finger.

STICKING AROUND: Sheffield Steelers' defenceman Mikko Kuukka. Picture courtesy of Dean Woolley.

STICKING AROUND: Sheffield Steelers' defenceman Mikko Kuukka. Picture courtesy of Dean Woolley.

He returned in last week’s 4-1 win over Coventry Blaze but, in the following night’s defeat to Glasgow Clan, the same finger was broken again.

The 36-year-old has already undergone surgery this week in Sheffield but could now face up to another 10 weeks on the sidelines.

“It’s a huge blow for us, but more so for Aaron himself,” ahead of the Elite League leaders’ crunch encounter against third-placed Belfast Giants at FlyDSA Arena tomorrow night (face-off 7.30pm).

“It’s a freak injury for it to happen to the same finger, you have to feel for him.

It’s a freak injury for it to happen to the same finger, you have to feel for him. We have made sure the injury is seen to by the surgeons immediately. Aaron now starts, again, the recovery process.

Sheffield Steelers’ head coach, Aaron Fox.

“We have made sure the injury is seen to by the surgeons immediately. Aaron now starts, again, the recovery process.”

Johnson’s absence leaves a sizeable gap on the blue line, hence the decision to retain Finnish-born Kuukka for at least two more weeks, the 34-year-old impressing since moving to the five-time EIHL champions last month, posting two assists in 13 appearances.

“Mikko has been so good for us and his spell was coming to an end,” added Fox. “He has options elsewhere in Europe but has agreed to lengthen his time here with us and we are grateful for that.”

Tickets for Steelers’ clash with defending EIHL champions Belfast on Wednesday are priced at just £5. Buy them HERE