Sheffield Steeldogs have confirmed forward Stanislav Lascek has returned to the club following his release by Hull Pirates.
Lascek has had two previous spells with the Steeldogs and will be back in the line-up at home to Manchester Phoenix on Friday.
Player/Coach Greg Wood said: “When looking for a replacement for Pavel Mrna, I felt we needed a strong two-way centre-man with excellent playmaking ability.
“A player that would complement Bos (Arnoldas Bosas) and would strengthen our powerplay – an area I identified for improvement. Stano fills this role to perfection.
“He has had a fantastic season so far and is riding high in the points race. He’s a very talented player and a very good person. He’s also a natural leader in the dressing room and will bring another dimension to our team.
“This is a fantastic signing at a very important time of the season – this says a lot about our club and how we treat players. Credit to the owners for making this happen.”
Steeldogs’ owner Robin Grayson added: “I’m delighted to have Stano back in our team – he was a player that we really wanted to sign for this season and we were sorry to see him leave for Hull.
“Stano brings a real positive attitude into the changing room and adds an extra dimension to the team that we’ve been lacking this year.
“We’re aware that his employment with the Pirates was terminated because of gross misconduct. Inevitably this has led to conjecture on the various fan forums, and noticeably this has centred on allegations of drug usage.
“As a club, the Steeldogs do not condone the use of drugs, and initiated a drug test on Lascek. We are pleased to say that his test came back negative.
“I would also just like to add that we take every precaution to ensure that all of our players are looked after and are both physically and mentally fit and able to play to the best of their abilities.
“Stano has personally been through a tough year, but he’s home now, and with that he has the full support of the team.”