WARD ON THE MEND
Thursday 25th October 2012, 16:40
Poole boss Neil Middleditch says Grand Prix star Darcy Ward will return to Australia as planned on November 8 as he recovers from a head injury.
The Queenslander’s season was ended when he was left hospitalised with a bleed on the brain following an incident in Dorset last Friday. The 20-year-old was discharged from Poole Hospital on Monday and had been extremely sleepy and lethargic.
But Middleditch, who puts Ward up during the European season, says the Pirates No.1 is on the mend. Although he will not take part in the club’s Elite League Knockout Cup campaign, Ward is relieved to be going Down Under for the winter as planned.
"Heâ€™s much more alert now. Heâ€™s getting up in the mornings, eating pretty well and getting back to his usual self."
- Neil Middleditch
Middleditch said: “He’s feeling much better and he has been given permission to fly home, which has perked him up a bit. The plan is for him to go home on November 8 and that’s the best kind of medicine he could have had.
“He’s much more alert now. He’s getting up in the mornings, eating pretty well and getting back to his usual self.
“He still has a bit of a ringing in the ears at the moment, but that will go over time. The sunshine will do him good in Australia. He says thanks for all the kind wishes and tweets. He really appreciates it.”
Middleditch leads Poole to Peterborough for the Knockout Cup semi-final, second leg tonight, where they will bid to defend a 51-39 advantage from last night’s first leg.
The winners earn a final with Coventry, the first leg of which takes place at Brandon on Friday.
Middleditch says Poole are still determined to avoid ending 2012 empty-handed after losing the Elite League Grand Final to Swindon. But he admits the cup has become an anti-climax after a season of bad weather relegated its meetings to the final few weeks of the season.
He said: “We’ve obviously lost the league, so winning the Knockout Cup would be a pick-up for the fans and the team.
“But if they going to do it, do it at the start of the season and get the competition done and don’t slot it in around league matches. Get it done, run the league, stage the Grand Final, end of season. Let’s draw a line under the season after that.
“It feels a bit anti-climatic to be racing now. We’re there to win the cup, but the season is dragging on a bit. If you do the meetings at the start of the season, all the riders would get some practise ready for the league meetings.
“But in fairness, the weather has just been a big factor this season and has caused all sorts of disruption.”
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