The Red Deer Rebels will enter the weekend without a valuable member of their fourth line.
Devan Fafard, who this season was moved from defence to forward, suffered an upper-body injury in last Sunday’s 6-2 loss to the host Calgary Hitmen and — according to the Western Hockey League injury report — is out indefinitely.
While Fafard, who brings toughness and experience as a 20-year-old, clearly won’t be in the Rebels lineup for Fridays’ meeting with the Tigers at Medicine Hat or Saturday’s clash with the visiting Swift Current Broncos, he could be available sooner than later.
“We’re hoping he can be back in a couple of weeks,” Rebels GM/head coach Brent Sutter said Wednesday.
In Fafard’s absence, Sutter — for starters — will either go with seven defencemen and 11 forwards, or insert rookie Mason McCarty into Fafard’s spot.
First-year rearguard Josh Mahura, meanwhile, is listed as questionable for the weekend with an upper body ailment after being hit from behind in Sunday’s game at Calgary.
“It’s still possible that he (Mahura) could play this weekend but he hasn’t practised the last two days,” said Sutter.
“If he can’t play we’ll dress both (rookie defenceman Mario) Grman and McCarty.”
Remaining on the Red Deer injury list are first-year centre Brayden Burke and veteran blueliner Nick Charif, both sidelined with lower-body issues.
Burke will out until mid-December and Charif isn’t expected back until just after the Christmas break.
• Former Rebels forward Cole Chorney has landed in Merritt, B.C.
The 18-year-old, who was released — although the Rebels retain his WHL rights — Nov. 10 and was expected to join an Alberta Junior Hockey League team, has signed on with the Merritt Centennials of the BCHL.
“He had a choice of where he could go,” said Sutter. “Being 18, he could inter-branch. He had three or four teams that were after him and he chose Merritt.”
The Beaumont product is pointless with two minutes in penalties in two games with his new team.