It’s a case of no pain, no gain for Panthers man Simon Lambert at the moment.
The reserve ace produced a pleasing eight-point performance to help the city team to a 53-39 victory against Redcar last Sunday.
He collected victories in his first and final rides at the East of England Arena while putting together arguably his best display of the SGB Championship campaign. It came only days after his worst outing when drawing a blank in a 45-45 at Redcar.
But, little more than a month after surgery, success is coming at a cost for Lambert. He is in pain after meetings and is requiring regular physiotherapy to aid his recovery from a double-break of, and subsequent operation on, his right wrist.
“I wouldn’t say I’m completely happy, but it was certainly a much better meeting for me on Sunday,” said Lambert.
“I had a night to forget up at Redcar last Thursday so starting with a win at home was good for my confidence.
“I felt I rode my best four laps for a long time when second in heat 11, then winning heat 14 was even better and a great way to finish the meeting.
“I’m not feeling the injury while I’m racing as the adrenaline kicks in, but I definitely know about it afterwards!
“I don’t mind admitting I’ve come back a lot sooner than I probably should, but it hasn’t been a good year for me so far and I’m desperate to finish it well.
“I’ve probably been guilty of changing too many things on the bike at times, but I just kept it pretty simple on Sunday and that paid off.
“I’d like to think I’m one of the better reserves in the league when fully fit and at my best, and I need to be scoring well to help us have a big push for a play-off place.”
And Lambert was also quick to issue praise to reserve partner Tom Bacon, who has improved during the course of his debut SGB Championship campaign.
Bacon has enjoyed a productive month with a best display of paid eight points in a defeat at Glasgow, six points in a home victory against Ipswich, and paid six home and away against Redcar in recent days.
“Tom has struggled as well at times, but he’s learning and progressing,” added Lambert.
“He’s been scoring well in most meetings lately and fair play to him for that because it is a big jump when stepping up into this league for the first time.”