Peterborough Panthers have been rocked by a major injury blow.
In-form captain and number one Hans Andersen faces a spell out of action after being hurt in a crash in his native Denmark on Friday (May 31).
The 39 year-old suffered a fracture to his shoulder in the spill while riding for Grindsted in his homeland against Region Varde.
Andersen wrote on social media: “We tried to race on an unfit track and unfortunately I got punished for it big style.
“I went to hospital where the x-ray confirmed there is a small fracture in my right shoulder blade.
“It just needs resting now but I’ll be back before you know it.”
Andersen has helped Panthers to second place in the SGB Premiership after a run of three consecutive victories.
He has already been ruled out of an East Anglian derby trip to Ipswich this Thursday (June 6) and is a major doubt for his World Championship qualifier at Glasgow next Saturday (June 8).
Andersen is the third Panthers rider to be sidelined with recent reserve signing Josh Bates missing both wins - at home to King’s Lynn and away to Poole - last week while heat leader Rohan Tungate also sat out the latter triumph.
Unhappy Panthers team boss Carl Johnson said: “We have lost our number one in a crash that should never have happened because, from what Hans has said, the track was unfit.
“But on the flipside we have to be thankful the injury is not much worse at an important part of the season.
“We are in a run of away fixtures in which Hans’ experience would have been really valuable to us - as was the case at Poole - and he also has the GP qualifier next weekend.
“Hopefully his recovery goes well and he is back on a bike very soon.”
It was a happier Friday night for another Panthers rider as Charles Wright roared to victory in the British Semi-Final at his SGB Championship club, Redcar.
Wright piled up 14 points to book his place in the national showpiece on July 29.