Sheffield have confirmed they are looking to sign a replacement for the injured Simon Stead.
The Tigers skipper was practicing at King’s Lynn on Tuesday night before he came to grief and it was confirmed he had broken his leg and ankle.
Team boss David Hoggart spoke of his heartbreak at the cruel news.
He said: “I got a call from Simon’s father Trevor on Wednesday morning and I was absolutely heartbroken. It’s a major blow not just for Simon and Sheffield speedway, but all of his friends and family.
“He’d had a cracking start with us this year, he’d been working hard and he is the ultimate professional. He was testing some new equipment and trying to improve things and then this happens.
“What we do know is that he’s awaiting an operation but the procedure is a very complex one and there are only a limited number of people who can do it. He was initially at a hospital in King’s Lynn but should have been transferred to a Sheffield hospital yesterday. Simon is an inspiration, you don’t have to be round him for even two minutes and you feel good, it’s just the way he is. Any conversation you have with him, he enthuses you and gives you a lift - it’s a massive blow.”
Inevitably the Tigers management now have to look at replacing the Star columnist, but Hoggart insists they won’t rush into anything.
He said: “At the moment we’re under no immediate pressure to make a decision.