Knee injury set to end Bekker year

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Edinburgh MONARCHS reserve star Byron Bekker may not ride again until next season following his heavy crash against Somerset Rebels at Armadale on Friday, which saw him aggravate a niggling left-knee injury

The popular South African revealed today that unless he undergoes an operation to put things right, his speedway career may come to a premature end.

Bekker unluckily came to grief in the second race as he battled against Rebels duo Alex Davies and James Holder, who appeared to lock-up in front of him on the second turn.

Bekker said: I felt comfortable for the lap I completed but when I went into the bend the Somerset guys locked-up and overslid and I had nowhere to go because I was on the inside.

“I had do decide ‘do I smash into them and cause a big crash or do I take avoiding action and put down my bike?’.

“I’m not the type of rider who tries to ride through someone and hope for the best, so when I went down my knee got caught between the wheel and the motor.

“James then came towards me and I held my hands up to cover my face as his bike went into the front end of mine. I knew instantly something was wrong, my knee was locked and I couldn’t move it.”

Bekker visited his physiotherapist at the weekend and was told his ligaments were broken.

“They have been hurting for a while”, said Bekker. “And I think they have now snapped because I’ve got too much movement in my knee the wrong way.

“Before I signed for Edinburgh, I rode at Newcastle as a guest for Workington and crashed into the back of Newcastle’s Claus Nedermark, whose chain had come off.

“My knee was caught in the bike and ripped all the skin off and I’ve never really felt 100 per cent since then.

“I’ve battled on, but with every subsequent knock I’ve suffered it has taken longer to heal.”

Bekker says if he carries on riding indefinitely without getting surgery, he could be forced to retire.

“My physiotherapist has told me if I ride on it could end my career because I would damage my ligaments to an even greater degree.”

Bekker plans to visit a specialist this week, but confessed he was in something of a dilemma over a probable operation.

He said: “It’s a six-month recovery period, so I’ve got the choice of missing the end of this season or the beginning of next season.

“I’m going to get the surgery done privately but if I cannot get fitted in until the end of the year I might be able to race wearing a full knee brace.

“If they can fit me in within the next two or three weeks, I’ll opt for that in order that I’m ready for 2012.”

Bekker added: “It’s a real blow that this has happened as I was hoping to put myself in the shop window for the Premier League for next season and I was focusing on having a good finish to this season, but not now.”

Monarchs captain Matthew Wethers is also nursing possible ligament damage after his spill at Somerset Rebels last week, and he is scheduled to see a specialist on Thursday to get a full prognosis.

Meanwhile, Monarchs’ Premier League fixture at Workington Comets on Saturday fell victim to the weather for a third time and will have to rearranged again. It was Workington’s 13th washout at Derwent Park this season.