Edinburgh Monarch’s Josh Pickering set to face Redcar Bears – but won’t risk further injury
Edinburgh Monarchs’ crocked Australian ace Josh Pickering will make his comeback from injury against Redcar Bears in tonight’s Championship League speedway encounter at Armadale. However, the extent of his involvement remains in the balance.
Monarchs team manager Alex Harkess said: “Josh is definitely riding but will take each match as it comes. If he manages through tonight without any major worries he will ride on Saturday in the return fixture.”
Pickering, who sustained shoulder ligament damage when he crashed awkwardly at Birmingham Brummies last month is delighted to be back in the saddle and has not missed too many league matches due to postponements and the Scottish Open Championship taking place last week.
Pickering told the Evening News: “My shoulder has been improving and is getting better, I was worried about a trapped nerve at the start of the week but things don’t feel too bad now and I will give it a go, I’m keen to ride again.”
Pickering added: “Redcar in some ways is the ideal match for me to make my return. I’m not saying it will be an easy match because no matches are ever easy.
“We are down at Redcar in the return fixture tomorrow night and I like their track As long as I come through this evening without any major problems I should be able to ride in that match as well, here’s hoping.”
Meanwhile, Stokes’s Connor Coles fills in for reserve Luke Ruddick who has been deemed unfit to ride despite adhering to the mandatory nine day lay-off after suffering from concussion following his heavy tumble at home against Glasgow Tigers last month.
The pressure will now be on senior reserve William Lawson to score heavily. Lawson had a nightmare Scottish Open meeting, failing to score a single point in his qualifying heats.
He must start showing some leadership from the tail-end, he is after all one of the most experienced reserves in the league.
At long last Victor Palovaara will make his long awaited debut as the injury replacement for Justin Sedgmen who broke two bones in his hands when he too came to grief against Glasgow. Sedgmen has had his plaster removed but his fingers have not yet fully healed. To compound matters Sedgmen may have a scaphoid [shoulder] injury which could require an operation.
Monarchs will be looking for an emphatic win over the Bears to kick-start their league campaign after a faltering start.
Redcar recently released No.1 Ben Barker from their team and have replaced him with Ulrich Ostergaard.
Meanwhile, Monarchs have agreed dates for their Knockout Cup semi-final with Newcastle Diamonds.
The first leg will take place at Armadale on Friday, July 12 with the second leg at Newcastle two days later.
Monarchs’ home Championship match with the Diamonds will now take place on Friday, August 30 while the away match will be on Sunday, September 8.
The Scottish Cup matches with Glasgow will now take place on September 27 at Armadale and September 29 at Ashfield.