LEWIS Blackbird is on course to make an earlier than expected return to the track after declaring himself 99 per cent certain to start Mildenhall’s clash with arch rivals Rye House on Sunday.
It was feared the Mildenhall skipper would be out for up to six weeks after dislocating his shoulder against the King’s Lynn Young Stars in the quarter-final of the National League Knockout Cup earlier this month.
But much to the surprise of himself, and his physio, the 25 year old is expected resume his role as captain and lead the Tigers into battle against the Raiders, having made a near full recovery just three weeks after the incident at the Norfolk Arena.
“I had a spin after Peterborough’s Elite League meeting on Monday and the shoulder felt pretty good,” said Blackbird. “When I went to see the physio last time he was shocked how much movement I could do and how much it has heeled.
“I would say that there is a 99 per cent chance that I will be riding on Sunday. I don’t want to be standing on the sidelines watching.”
In their last National League meeting, the Fen Tigers demonstrated that they are a force to be reckoned with on the road, as well as at West Row, when claiming all four points in an impressive win over the Isle of Wight Islanders.
Although star of the show with a final figure of 16+1 was current number one Cameron Heeps, for Blackbird there was one other rider who really stood out, that of highly-rated reserve Nathan Stoneman.
“Having watched from the sidelines at the Isle of Wight Nathan Stoneman did absolutely brilliantly around there — he is flying at the moment,” said Blackbird.
“The Isle of Wight’s track is a big daunting track to go but he was on it and his confidence is booming.”
Blackbird sees no reason as to why the Tigers dream start to the year can not continue by adding another three points with a victory over the Raiders at the weekend to bolster their position at the head of the National League.
“The way all the lads are riding they don’t need me at the minute,” joked Blackbird. “All the boys are riding with a fair bit of confidence and look good for another win on Sunday.”
n THE Fen Tigers will face the Stoke Potters in the semi-final of the National League Knockout Cup with the home leg scheduled for August 26.
The match up will be a repeat of last year’s final which saw the Tigers win 103-83 on aggregate.