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Inside Track 2014: World number three Niels-Kristian Iversen’s weekly look inside the Norfolk Arena

17:43 05 September 2014

Speedway crash involving Niels Kristian Iversen and Greg Hancock. Picture: SpeedwayGP

Speedway crash involving Niels Kristian Iversen and Greg Hancock. Picture: SpeedwayGP

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My season was cut short on Saturday after I had a big accident during the Grand Prix in Poland.

Greg Hancock. Picture: Michelle KearneyGreg Hancock. Picture: Michelle Kearney

I didn’t sense anything bad was going to happen before it did, I was just focusing on getting points on the board. And then I had that freak collision with Greg (Hancock) in heat 14. I picked up a little bit coming out of turn two, no more than at other times, but it happened at the wrong moment. I just couldn’t avoid Greg and we collided.

I knew straight away I’d done something pretty serious once I came to a stop and sat up. My left knee was curled up pretty bad. I’ve torn ligaments before but I knew this was worse. I knew it was different. It was just really painful. My fiancee Laura came on the track – she comes to watch me when she can and we’d planned to have a few days in Poland together after the meeting, which wasn’t so successful I guess – and if I’m honest I’m glad she was there. She was being positive when I got in the ambulance and I kept saying ‘it doesn’t feel good’, and she kept saying ‘you’ll be ok’. I was just eager to find out what was wrong.

Once I got to the hospital I got a little bit optimistic that it wasn’t going to be too bad as I wasn’t in crazy pain. I had some painkillers but my knee wasn’t swelling too much. However, by the next day my knee kept getting bigger and bigger and I knew my season was over.

I hadn’t realised that Greg was hurt at first because I saw him walking off the track. I just guessed he was going to be in the re-run. I only realised he’d done some serious damage (broken hand and dislocated finger) was when he parked up beside me in the hospital. We had a chat and were glad both of our injuries weren’t worse – they could have been far more serious. He knows it was a racing accident and stuff like this happens. I wasn’t too eager, or over-riding, it just happened. I hope he’s back riding soon.

As for me, I’ve basically ruined all of my ligaments and done some other damage to my knee because it dislocated as well. It needs repairing and I need surgery within the next week. I’m just weighing up my options as to where I get it done. Having my knee rebuilt means it’s going to be a tough and intensive programme to get fit again, but that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

I had my shoulder rebuilt six years ago so I’d say this is one of my worst injuries. They don’t happen too often. But it’s part of speedway and you just have to get on with it.

Of course I’m gutted my season is finished. I’m going to miss some really important meetings, like the play-offs for Lynn – and for my clubs in other countries – and the chance of getting another medal in the GP series. Obviously it’s disappointing to be out. But it could have been so much worse. I’m quite a positive person and that’s how I’ll view this.

I’ll probably slip out of the top eight now and not qualify automatically for the 2015 series. But I’d like to think I might get a wildcard, although that’s out of my hands. However for now – and yes I have watched the crash – I just want to start looking forward.

The doctors have said I’m going to be able to come back 100pc so that’s what I’m focusing on. I want to do all I can to be raring to go come the start of next season. Finally, I’d just like to say thanks to anyone who has sent me get well soon messages. They helped keep my spirits up.

- Niels-Kristian Iversen was talking to Gavin Caney.

* To read Niels’ exclusive weekly column first, and in print – buy Wednesday’s paper. Visit www.edp24.co.uk/sport/kings-lynn-stars for an archive of Iversen’s articles.

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