Monarchs No.1 Sam Masters out for a month

Sam Masters could be out for as long as a month. Pic: Ron MacNeill

Sam Masters could be out for as long as a month. Pic: Ron MacNeill

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Edinburgh Monarchs No.1 rider Sam Masters will be out of action for a month after it was confirmed he has broken a bone his hand following a crash riding for his Elite League club Leicester Lions on Saturday.

The Australian, who underwent an operation yesterday, said: “I’m gutted and I will be out of action for a while. As soon as I came down at Leicester I knew something was wrong. I’m not good at sitting around doing nothing so I will be back as soon as possible.”

His team-mate Craig Cook, who also suffered a heavy tumble in the same match guesting for Swindon Robins, visited hospital at the weekend and was told nothing was broken and turned out for Belle Vue Aces last night.

With Masters heading Monarchs’ averages at the moment, they will be able to recruit comparable guests for their matches against Ipswich, Redcar, and Berwick this week.

Meanwhile, Monarchs are looking at the option of signing a temporary replacement for their other crocked star Rob Branford, who injured his shoulder at home against Glasgow Tigers last month. The 21-year-old had hoped to be back on his bike last week, but has suggested his return could still be four weeks away.

Monarchs team manager Alex Harkess said: “We have to consider the possibility of signing someone to cover for Rob. If he is going to be sidelined for another month, we can sign an injury replacement rider for a 28-day period.

“But we need to get an answer from Rob as to exactly when he thinks he will back. His injury situation seems to be going on and on and we are no further forward. We know we won’t find anyone who will score six or seven points, but somebody who can get two or three points would be ideal.”