BENJAMIN Basso missed last night's SGB Championship Knockout Cup semi-final first leg due to a rib injury.

The exciting Dane had been scheduled to line up at number two for Poole Pirates at Leicester.

However, he was not able to compete, leaving Pirates' septet further depleted.

Basso is understood to have picked up the rib problem whilst riding for Danish side Fjelsted on Wednesday.

The youngster scored just one point and crashed out as his side failed to triumph in the Metal League play-offs.

They were won Holsted Tigers, led by legendary Nicki Pedersen's 14-point haul, while former Pirates favourite Nicolai Klindt finished second with Sonderjylland.

Poole were already without the injured Stefan Nielsen and isolating Rory Schlein, with Dillon Ruml and Charles Wright drafted in as guests at Beaumont Park. Pirates, who operated rider replacement for Basso, were beaten 49-41, giving themselves a big challenge in next week's second leg.

Poole promoter Danny Ford said: "You must be pragmatic and recognise that they (Leicester) have a strong top three just like ourselves.

“I think the meeting at Poole on the 29th is set to be a real battle.”

Pirates hope Basso can return in time for Wednesday's Championship meeting with Redcar Bears at Wimborne Road.