POOLE Pirates are hopeful heat leader Rory Schlein will be available for Saturday’s crunch play-off semi-final second leg at Leicester.

Schlein, who rode as Poole’s number one all year until this month, dropping down to three to be replaced by Steve Worrall, suffered a shoulder injury during Wednesday’s win over the Lions.

The 37-year-old is set to retire from speedway at the end of this month, with a farewell meeting booked in for Monday at Wolverhampton.

However, his participation in both that and also Pirates’ upcoming play-off and cup fixtures was thrown into serious doubt after damaging his shoulder during heat 15 against Leicester at Wimborne Road, aggravating an old injury in the same area. But Schlein still hopes he can be fit for the contest.

Discussing Schlein’s injury, Pirates promoter Danny Ford told the Daily Echo: “Being his final year and everything, he’s got a huge meeting for himself booked in for his farewell. 

“It couldn’t have come at a worse time really. Fingers crossed it isn’t as bad as initially thought, but it’s definitely not looking good for Saturday at the moment.”

Asked how the Aussie sustained the problem, Ford added: "I think he was obviously trying to get on terms with (Kyle) Howarth and he just hit something in three and four and just kind of like jolted his shoulder.

"It’s obviously aggravated it, so he’s looking a right doubt. So not ideal."

Looking ahead to possible replacements for Saturday's second leg at Beaumont Park, as Pirates defend a 48-42 lead, Ford said: "We need to prepare for everything, so we’re working on things now to try and get something sorted.

"We’ll hopefully have some decent cover if we need it."