Stars’ injury problems are making it tough

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Andrew Howell discusses the injury problems suffered by the King’s Lynn Stars in his latest Tape’s Up column in Your Local Paper.Although the Stars didn’t have a meeting last week, we’ve somehow still managed to pick up yet another injury after Michael Palm-Toft suffered a broken collarbone in a crash at Berwick while riding for Scunthorpe.Tofty has found things tough in the Premiership this season and I was hoping a spell at reserve would be just what he needed to get himself going.His form for Scunthorpe in the Championship has been good, but for whatever reason that hasn’t been replicated when racing for the Stars.Though injuries are very much part and parcel of this brutal sport, for the past few years, it feels like the Stars suffer more than most and this season has been no exception.Just as skipper Tobiasz Musielak is hopefully close to a return to the side following his shoulder and ankle injuries, we now lose Tofty.Team manager Rob Lyon must be pulling his hair out in frustration, as it seems to be one thing after another that conspires against the Stars from tracking a settled team. So far this season we’ve seen injuries to Tarasenko who subsequently quit the Stars after withdrawing with injury at Sheffield, and as previously mentioned, we’ve had skipper Tobiasz Musielak missing.We’ve also been without Benjamin Basso following an elbow injury and Niels-Kristian Iversen with concussion. The injury curse even got so bad, that we lost Josh Pickering to injury when he was due to guest for us at Belle Vue.It’s quite remarkable that we’re only now coming into June and only Patryk Wojdylo and Anders Rowe will be the only ever present in the side come our home Knockout Cup clash with Sheffield. With the new team averages coming into play this week, it will be interesting to see if we look to replace Tofty or rely on guests to fill the gap.With him likely to be missing for at least a few weeks, the Stars have up to 7.02 points available for any potential replacement. While guests are a temporary option, there is nothing better than fielding a settled team with your own riders, something that has sadly eluded us for most of the season.With team changes on the horizon at Birmingham to accommodate the signing of Freddie Lindgren, that might be an avenue for us to explore. Another option could also be the return of Simon Lambert who rode so well at the end of last season.However ideally, I’d like to see us sign a replacement with a higher average than Patryk Wojdylo so we can get him back to reserve. He showed with his maximum against Birmingham what a trump card he can be.With him now moving out of the reserve berths and into the number two position, we lose the option of giving him extra rides.Having a strong reserve pairing is critical to how our side is built.One way or another, the situation needs to be resolved quickly to keep our tough season alive.n Last Saturday saw Norfolk’s Robert Lambert move into third place in the overall Grand Prix standings after a fifth-place finish at the Prague GP.Robert is beginning to show the consistency needed to reach the very top.So far, he’s had a third and three fifth-place finishes in the four GP’s of the season.If he can find a way to turn the semi-final appearances into finals and grab that elusive first win, he surely stands a great chance of grabbing at least a top-three finish come the end of the season.It was also a good weekend for another local talent as Ashton Boughen finished in third place at the British Under-21 Final at Glasgow.The Lynn-born racer looks set to follow in Lambert’s footsteps and make a real name for himself in the sport. He’s the youngest rider to finish on the rostrum at the Under-21 Final since a certain Tai Woffinden back in 2007.He then followed that up with his highest score in the Premiership for the Oxford Spires on Monday night.Ashton’s success in the final now means he has a chance to qualify for the SGP2 series as he heads to Macon in France on Saturday.He’ll be sure to go into the meeting with very little pressure on his shoulders and the experience will surely stand him in good stead for the years to come.It really would be great to see Robert and Ashton in the same Stars team one day.

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