Injured King’s Lynn ace Kozza Smith to miss 2012 tapes up

King's Lynn Stars' ace Kozza Smith will miss the opening months of the club's 2012 Elite League season after breaking his leg in the opening round of the Australian Championships.

Smith underwent surgery on a broken femur at Brisbane Royal Infirmary over the weekend following acollision with Troy Batchelor in heat eight. The 23-year-old was poised to double up at number seven for the Stars, along with his commitments at Premier League Berwick. Smith could now be sidelined for six months with the British season set to get underway in March. The luckless Aussie was ruled out of the club's play-off push towards the end of the last campaign after suffering a dislocated shoulder against Birmingham at the Norfolk Arena.

Smith was leading heat eight when former King's Lynn rider Batchelor is reported to have collided with him on the final bend. Smith was awarded the race but forced to immediately withdraw from the meeting. Bandits' boss Ian Rae admitted losing Smith is a major blow after the popular rider had made a big impression in his first season at Shielfield Park.

'It is so hard to take in,' he said. 'Obviously he is badly hurt and will be sidelined for a period, but he knows – as do we – that he is such an integral part of our club that there will always be a place here for him when he is ready. Speedway riders are a very special breed when it comes to recovering from big injuries.'

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