Sheffield speedway ace out for weeks

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Tigers have revealed Damien Koppe could be out for up to a month ahead of tonight’s Premier League clash with Rye House at Owlerton (7.45)

It’s another injury setback but the club have vowed to do all they can to pick up points over the next three nights as the sides meet again at Hoddesdon on Saturday. Koppe has suffered damaged shoulder ligaments and joins skipper Simon Stead (broken leg) on the sidelines.

And in a further blow to the team for tonight, Ricky Wells will be away with the American side in Prague for the World Cup race-off.

Tigers co-promoter David Hoggart admits the team are up against it. He said: “Damien went to hospital on Friday to get an x-ray on the shoulder and it came back with ligament damage. the prognosis is for him to be out for two to four weeks.

“Obviously Damien is hoping to be back in two weeks and we’ll liaise with him over the weekend to see how he’s progressing. We’ll miss him because he’s been a very useful reserve over recent weeks and can be a match-winner.

“We wanted to bring in Jake Knight as cover but with him not being in any current 1-7 we couldn’t, which is disappointing. But Jake was at the front of our thoughts.”

Richard Lawson will continue to guest for injured captain Stead, James Sarjeant is in for Koppe and rider replacement will cover Wells.

Hoggart feels points gained from Wells’ programmed rides could be the key tonight.

He said: “We’ll miss Ricky but it’s vital the other boys step up and make sure we don’t miss him too much, it’s another important meeting and one that we know we need to win.”

n SHEFFIELD: Lawson (G), Haines, Rider Replacement, Hall, Roynon, Sarjeant (G), Albin.

n RYE HOUSE: Grajczonek (G), Bunyan, Mellgren, Nelson, Aspgren, Lykke, Hopwood (G).