Struggling Peterborough Panthers are reeling from another damaging injury blow.
The city club planned to draft Bradley Wilson-Dean back into their team next week following a six-week lay-off with a broken collar-bone, but the New Zealand champion now faces an extended spell out with the injury having not healed – a twist which has prompted a search from Panthers chiefs for a new recruit.
“Bradley’s injury has not even started to heal,” said Johnson. “He was told there was no need to operate on the injury, but it hasn’t got any better. I feel sorry for the lad who is a long way from home and trying to earn himself a living.
“Unfortunately for him and us, we’re going to have to look for another rider.
“It’s yet another blow in a season of never-ending bad luck to follow on from 2018 when we also saw our hopes of three trophies ruined by injuries.”
Panthers did plan to bring Wilson-Dean back in at reserve for the currently stricken Josh Bates while extending Ty Proctor’s short-term stay into a permanent deal.
Johnson confirmed that Proctor will still be kept on and he is now searching for a new recruit for the reserve berth with 5.62 points available to him.
Bates and Hans Andersen have no dates for their return.
Panthers make the short trip to King’s Lynn for an A47 derby showdown tonight (July 25, 7.30pm) which is also an SGB Premiership basement battle.
The city club, who have slumped to four successive defeats are one point clear of the rock-bottom Stars ahead of the Adrian Flux Arena date.
Poole man Josh Grajczonek deputises at number one for Andersen while Simon Lambert, a former Panthers rider who was dropped by Lynn last week, fills in at reserve.
“We’ll go to King’s Lynn with the same aim as we have for every away meeting – that’s to pick up a league point with anything else on top being a bonus,” added Johnson.
“It’s a track which will suit many of our boys and we have plenty of inside knowledge with Ty and Simon having been Lynn riders this season.
“We certainly don’t want to fall to the bottom of the table.”
Lynn have received a double-boost with their top two riders – Robert Lambert and Craig Cook – now fit again.
King’s Lynn: Robert Lambert, Michael Palm Toft, Erik Riss, Thomas Jorgensen, Craig Cook, Lewis Kerr, Nicklas Porsing.
Panthers: Josh Grajczonek (guest), Ty Proctor, Scott Nicholls, Charles Wright, Rohan Tungate, Aaron Summers, Simon Lambert.