MANAGER Neil Middleditch hopes Poole Pirates’ early-season break can put crocked rider Josh Grajczonek back in control of his own destiny.

The Aussie ace, who suffered a fractured eye socket, broken nose and cracked tooth during a guest booking for Birmingham 12 days ago, confirmed via social media that he had three metal plates placed in his face during surgery last Thursday.

Grajczonek added: “I’ve had a fair bit of swelling since the operation but it’s on its way down now and I’ve been able to open my left eye these past few days.

“As for a time frame to when I'll be back, I’m unsure at the moment but I hope it’s not too long.”

The initial prognosis from Grajczonek’s first visit to hospital was that he would miss three weeks of speedway and his housemate Kyle Howarth deputised in Poole’s abandoned home match with Wolverhampton last week.

Prior to 24-year-old’s operation, Pirates promoter Matt Ford expressed concern that his recovery could take significantly longer than first feared.

However, with the Wimborne Road club set for a three-week gap between completed Elite League fixtures, Middleditch is optimistic the extra time will help Grajczonek’s cause.

“It’s just a case of seeing what happens with the healing process now,” said Middleditch. “The time it takes for the bruising and swelling to go down will be key and until we know more, there is very little we can do.

“We will monitor things over the next week to see if it improves but, fortunately, there is no need for us to make any snap decisions just yet.”