British forward Robert Farmer will ice for the GMB Nottingham Panthers for the rest of the season and is expected to make his debut at the weekend.

At one point it looked like he might even get to the UK in time to play in tonight's home game against Edinburgh but delays in North America mean he will not now arrive until Saturday morning.

Farmer was signed in the summer but the deal allowed him to explore the option of playing in North America. He has been with the Alaska Aces in the East Coast Hockey League but was "put on waivers" and hasn't picked up another club so is returning to the UK.

He had planned to arrive this morning and go straight into the line-up but a last minute hitch in America has meant he had to cancel his flight and will now travel on Friday.

Coach Corey Neilson said :"This is a great pick-up for the club. He's big and strong and his time in North America won't have done him any harm. He's keen to get on the ice with us and help us, with two imports out through suspension tonight and on Saturday away in Cardiff it would have been a big boost for us if things had fallen into place as we all hoped, he could still be with us for the trip to Cardiff but it is hanging in the balance."

And a club spokeswoman added: "There has been much speculation about Robert's future after Alaska decided they weren't going to keep him. Other clubs have been chasing and that led to all kinds of rumours but we knew the deal was done in the summer and if he had been able to get on the plane, he was due to fly via Iceland overnight, he was being picked up and brought to Nottingham for his league debut today.

"There's only a tiny bit of paperwork to sort out at this end and we're on top of that so we were hoping fans were going to see him in action at the Capital FM Arena sooner rather than later but red tape issues at the other end sprung up. Robert has been trying to get it sorted as soon as possible and now aims to fly into Britain on Saturday. He could be with us in time for Saturday's match in Wales.

"He was with us in the pre-season tournament in Holland so he isn't going to be starting from scratch which will help."

The 22-year-old has over 200 games in the Elite league on his CV already, most recently at Braehead, and has nearly 150 points so far.