Peterborough Panthers face losing another key rider.
New Zealand star Bradley Wilson-Dean goes into hospital tomorrow (September 27) for a pre-arranged operation to remove metalwork following a previous collar-bone injury.
It will certainly rule him out of both legs of the club’s SGB Championship Shield semi-final against Lakeside this weekend, but it is not yet known whether or not he will play any further part in the 2018 campaign.
Panthers are already without number one Scott Nicholls due to a broken ankle and reserve star Tom Bacon with a serious back injury.
Owner Ged Rathbone said: “We were fully aware of Bradley’s operation when we signed him, but to be honest we didn’t expect the season to go anywhere near as long as it has done.
“We will assess how Bradley is next week once he’s had a few days of recovery time and then go from there.
“It’s not a major operation so there is a slim possibility he could carry on racing.”
Wilson-Dean top scored with paid 13 in the first leg of Panthers’ KO Cup quarter-final triumph against Lakeside last Sunday (September 23) - his best score since joining the city club for a second spell back in May.
Panthers’ only option to cover his absence is the use of the rider replacement facility with Ulrich Ostergaard, Emil Grondal, captain Simon Lambert and their chosen reserve guest able to take extra outings.
Wilson-Dean also rides for SGB Premiership club Somerset who are still involved in the play-offs at that level.
Rathbone added: “I’ve got to stress that Bradley can’t take any blame here. Both ourselves and Somerset were fully aware that the surgery was planned when we signed him.
“We’ve looked at sending him for private medical treatment, but that wasn’t really an option in the timescale we’ve got.”