GB forward Liam Kirk is hopeful his injury lay-off will be a ‘bump in the road’ as he gets to work on his recovery.
The NHL prospect picked up a cruciate ligament injury that has prematurely ended his season with AHL side Tucson Roadrunners and also rules him out of next year’s World Championships in Finland.
But he’s determined to bounce back from it and delivered a positive outlook as he begins his recovery.
“I know it will be a long process but I am young and have time on my side,” he told Ice Hockey UK. “Hopefully, this is just a little bump in the road. My aspirations remain the same going forward.
“I just want get back to training as soon as I can and begin the road to recovery. I have received so many messages from people wishing me well and that means a lot.
“It is so disappointing to get injured but I am focused and determined to come back strong.”
Kirk picked up two goals and added one assist in eight matches for the Roadrunners, but picked up the serious knee injury in the recent game against Henderson Silver Knights.
The following surgery proved successful so now it’s about getting back to fitness, which his absence timed at around nine months.
It means GB coach Pete Russell will have to do without him, but Kirk will be cheering loudly and proudly.
“I’m pretty gutted not to be going to Finland,” he added. “We’ve a great few years as a team, so I am sad that I will not be a part of it next year.
“But I will be watching from afar and cheering on the boys. We have a great team and have made so many strides forward in recent seasons.
“We have shown over the past two tournaments we can play on the big stage and I am looking forward to seeing what the boys can do.”