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Poole Pirates: Doctor's orders no deterrent for comeback king Josh Grajczonek
FACIAL injury victim Josh Grajczonek will continue to disobey doctor’s orders in an effort to swiftly rediscover his early season form for Poole Pirates.
The Aussie ace made his Elite League return at Coventry 10 days ago – two weeks after reconstructive surgery on his face – having been sent hurtling over the air fence into a metal barrier during a guest appearance for Birmingham on May 30.
Three plates are holding together Grajczonek’s shattered orbit – the bone surrounding the cavity in which the eye is situated – and cheekbone, while additional wire mesh is preventing his eye from slumping down.
Medics were keen for the 24-year-old to embrace an extended spell on the sidelines but having already missed out on the Grand Prix qualifier at Berwick, Grajczonek was anxious not to miss any more of what could prove to be a pivotal season.
Grajczonek told the Daily Echo: “Sometimes they say a break helps you and I did have a couple of bad meetings with Poole before the injury but I never felt like the break was helping me at all.
“The swelling in my face was immense and the doctors said it would be better to wait for a bit but that I should be okay to ride if I really had to. Us speedway riders are stubborn, we will ride when we want to ride and I’m just glad to be back.
“I will have the plates in for the rest of my life, they’re not that big but they are noticeable and I can feel them. When you get your helmet on you don’t really think about that, you just focus on winning.
“The nerves were there a little bit but it wasn’t too bad and by the end my gating and race head had started to come back.
“In the last race (against Birmingham) I got muscled out which shouldn’t have happened but that was down to race fitness. If I had been on the bike all this time then those mistakes wouldn’t have happened.
“The only way to sort that is to be racing so I’ll just keep going. I still feel pretty confident that I will be back to my best pretty soon.”
Grajczonek forms part of a full-strength Pirates line-up for tonight’s tricky trip to Eastbourne Eagles (7pm), who are unbeaten at home in 2014. The hosts also name an unchanged one-to-seven.
Eagles: (from) Bjarne Pedersen, Cameron Woodward, Joonas Kylmakorpi, Timo Lahti, Mikkel Michelsen, Lewis Blackbird, Daniel Halsey. Team manager: Trevor Geer.