Panthers promoter Ged Rathbone has hailed the return of teenage prodigy Robert Lambert as a ‘massive boost’ ahead of two titanic Premier League tussles.
The 17 year-old sensation pulled out of the club’s quartet for the annual Premier League Fours event at the East of England Showground last Sunday at late notice after complaining of a shoulder injury - something not made official until less than an hour before the start of the abandoned meeting.
Lambert reportedly picked up the problem when loading his bikes into the van after a successful guest booking for Premier League rivals Rye House the previous night when he scored a maximum and set two new track records.
But he underwent treatment from Panthers’ sports therapist Lauren Wood and now returns to the fray when the third-placed city racers take on table-topping Edinburgh twice in the space of three days.
Panthers travel to Scotland tomorrow (Friday) before welcoming the reigning champions to the East of England Showground on Sunday (5pm).
Club supremo Rathbone said: “It was obviously very disappointing for everyone not to have Robert available for the Fours.
“Unfortunately he picked up an injury the previous night, but the treatment he received from our sports therapist Lauren Wood on Sunday, along with the further guidance given to him, appears to have done the trick. We are one of the only clubs in the country to be lucky enough to have a sports therapist to work with our riders and Lauren is a real asset to us.
“Robert tells us the treatment has really helped and it will be great to have him back in action against Edinburgh.
“Robert being fit is a massive boost at a time when we have two of our most influential riders out injured.
“It’s a big weekend as we know a couple of decent results could really cement our place in the play-offs.”
And Rathbone is backing Lambert to challenge for honours in the Premier League Riders’ Championship early next month.
He is the club’s representative in the Sunday, September 6 spectacular at Sheffield and Rathbone is confident his man has the class to earn a second successive podium finish in the event for Panthers.
Captain Ulrich Ostergaard took third place last year when home rider Simon Stead was victorious.
Rathbone aded: “There is no doubt Robert is capable of putting on a great show at Sheffield. He has proven his class at Premier League, Elite League and international levels already this year.
“It would be great for the club to have another rider on the podium after Ulrich did so well last year.”
Premier League Riders’ Championship draw: 1 Robert Lambert (Panthers), 2 Richard Lawson (Glasgow), 3 Nick Morris (Glasgow), 4 Danny King (Ipswich), 5 Steve Worrall (Newcastle), 6 Craig Cook (Edinburgh), 7 Ricky Wells (Workington), 8 Sam Masters (Edinburgh), 9 Matej Kus (Redcar), 10 Thomas Jorgensen (Berwick), 11 Brady Kurtz (Somerset), 12 Jason Garrity (Sheffield), 13 Josh Grajczonek (Somerset), 14 Ryan Douglas (Scunthorpe), 15 Kyle Newman (Plymouth), 16 Edward Kennett (Rye House).