Speedway: Neil Middleditch tells injured Darcy Ward not to race again until he's fit
Poole manager Neil Middleditch has advised Darcy Ward not to race again until specialists have given him the all-clear.
Last Updated: 04/05/14 12:41pm
The 23-year-old suffered knee ligament damage in the New Zealand SGP on April 5, but made a surprise appearance on Saturday at the Meridian Lifts European SGP in Bydgoszcz where he bagged a sensational second place.
The second spot means he is seventh in the standings on 21 points - 14 off leader Krzysztof Kasprzak, but only three behind Nicki Pedersen, who sits in second.
Middleditch knows the severity of Ward's injury and while the youngster remains capable of racing, the Pirates manager fears any further damage could impact on his career.
"It's a nasty injury and if he catches his knee again, it's a career-threatening injury," explained Middleditch. "I'd advise him not to come back until he's told by the specialists that he can ride."
Ward needs an operation to repair the damage, although the Poole rider has hinted he may wait until the end of the season as he is determined not to give up on a FIM Speedway Grand Prix World Championship bid.
"The doctors have told me that once I build it up, it shouldn't be too bad. I'm going to need the operation anyway, so why not just have it at the end of the season?" said the Poole ace.
"I definitely, 100 per cent need an operation on my knee to get it fixed. But I don't need it now. I can try and build my leg up around my knee and I'm arranging some physio this week.
"I'm just going to try and make everything stronger around the knee so that it's not as bad as it is.
"I need an operation at the end of the season, though, so I'm going to have a pretty rubbish winter. It can only happen then, so over the next few weeks I'm just going to do the best I can.
"Hopefully the knee does a good job for me and I can sit through it and still be there at the end of the year in the World Championship.
"The doctors have told me that once I build it up, it shouldn't be too bad. I'm going to need the operation anyway, so why not just have it at the end of the season?"