Injured Nathan cheers on Tigers team-mates

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MILDENHALL Fen Tiger Nathan Stoneman hopes to be cheering on his team-mates at West Row on Sunday – just nine days after breaking his leg.

The reigning British Youth champion has taken the National League by storm this year with a series of impressive displays, but his season was brought to a premature end last Friday by a crash at Scunthorpe.

Stoneman will be replaced for the rest of the campaign by fellow 15-year-old Joe Graver, but he does not plan on becoming a stranger to his team-mates.

He said: “It would be much nicer to be riding with them to try and get some success, but seeing as I can’t do that I will come and give my support.

“It depends on how much pain I am in, but hopefully I will get to go down on Sunday.”

As well as being the first broken bone he’s suffered on a bike, the injury will temporarily halt the teenager’s flourishing speedway career.

“As I’ve said before, I was going out to prove a point that I should have been in the National League before this season,” he said. “I hope I’ve done enough to be picked again next year.”

Stoneman has undergone a successful operation to pin his left leg and was allowed out of hospital to return to his Devon home on Tuesday.

Co-promoter Michael Lee said: “Nathan is facing a long road to recovery, but he is a tough and determined young man with a fantastic family, who I know will give him all the support he needs.

“He’s already talking about coming to West Row as soon as he can.

“We plan to hold a collection for him and I know he’ll get a fantastic reception from everyone, and knowing Nathan he’ll be in the pits using his crutches to gee everyone up.”

Mildenhall are set for their first fixture at Mildenhall Stadium since May 27 when the Stoke Potters visit for a repeat of last year’s National League Knockout Cup final on Sunday (4.45pm).

Although Stoneman will be missing, Mildenhall could welcome back Joe Jacobs from a broken wrist, while Lee gave some words of encouragement to Graver – who won a race on his solitary outing for the Tigers this season, at Rye House.

“Nathan is a big loss for us, but Joe is a good lad with plenty of potential,” said Lee. “Once he builds his confidence up I am sure he’ll start getting among the points.”