STAR import Tomasz Malasinski could return to Swindon Wildcats’ roster this weekend for crunch games against London Raiders and play-off hopefuls Hull Pirates.

The popular Pole, who has notched an outstanding 50 points from 26 National League games this term, has starred for Aaron Nell’s squad since arriving from Katowice, Poland, in the summer following a two-season stint away from the Link.

Malasinski missed out on icing in Wildcats’ New Year’s Day penalty shots loss to Basingstoke Bison.

And the 33-year-old’s absence was noticeable as a catalogue of neutral zone passing errors – perhaps justified by an energy sapping block of festive fixtures – hurt the hosts, especially in the goalless overtime period.

Player-coach Nell is hopeful that Malasinski will return to the ice on Saturday when Raiders visit, but at the same time warned his players that the proven scorer’s presence cannot detract from the weekend’s bigger picture.

He said: “There is no rest for the wicked, and we’ll have to play a very smart game against London on Saturday.

“Hull will be a long trip on Sunday too, and our sixth game in a short space of time.

“A four-point weekend will be massive, though Wednesday was a strong point – it could’ve been a lot worse.

“We need to bounce back, and still have to play Peterborough three times on the road – those three games will be key in terms of how our season goes.

“We’ve got to make sure we’re picking up points at home and on the road too.”

Wednesday’s result proved frustrating for Cats as Bison’s catalogue of neutral zone errors went without great punishment.

By the end of the first period, Bison could’ve easily been trailing by three – if not four – goals.

Instead, Ashley Tait’s side stepped up to the challenge of trailing by two goals to level the contest at 3-3 by the end of the third period before a dominant overtime period paved the way for a penalty shots win.

Defeat after regulation time meant Telford now lead the National League by five points, though the Tigers do have a game in hand.

Nell added: “Wednesday was frustrating, penalty shots can always be a bit of a coin flip. We started well and should’ve been three or four up at the end of the first – instead Basingstoke only trailed by a goal.

“It was evident both teams had played four games in seven days, it wasn’t the best game.

“We missed Tomasz (Malasinski), but still had enough chances to win the game. We’re hoping Tomasz will be back this weekend.

“In my opinion, he is the best player in the league. It’s a big point, though, and have 22 games left.”