Bristol Pitbulls import Janne Virtanen has been confirmed as suffering a triple break to his clavicle after last night’s game against the Invicta Mustangs.
Virtanen took a hit in the third period during Bristol’s 6-2 loss in Kent and was immediately taken to the local A&E department.
Virtanen said: “Obviously I’m gutted that I’ll be out of the line up for the time being, but I’m looking forward to getting back on the ice stronger than before.
“The injury itself looks worse than it feels, so from that point of view it’s already a win. I’ve been told to expect to be sidelined for 4-6 weeks, pending review from the orthopaedic team. So I should be back in time to push for a play-off spot.
“In the meantime I’ll be doing whatever I can to help the guys win the up and coming games.”
Pitbulls coach Richie Hargreaves was understandably frustrated at losing such a key member of his dressing room as the team bids to qualify for the playoffs.
Hargreaves said: “First, I would like to express the helpfulness of the Invicta mustangs off ice team. They were extremely helpful and concerned for Janne’s well being.
“Obviously, losing Janne to a injury like this is frustrating for us, as well as for himself. Janne is by far our hardest working player on and off the ice. His enthusiasm and work ethic towards the game is uncanny. What’s even more frustrating is that he’s been playing very well of late. So that leaves a huge hole in line up and in the changing room.
“At this point we wish Janne well and hope for a speedy recovery.
“We are waiting on further developments of the situation and to see if Janne requires surgery before we look at making any kind of decisions.”