Inside Track 2013: Captain Mads Korneliussen’s weekly look inside the Norfolk Arena

Mads Korneliussen is living his speedway nightmare. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Mads Korneliussen is living his speedway nightmare. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

I thought I was having a bad season with injuries until things got even worse during Friday's Danish final first leg.

I was trying to do my normal thing by going round the outside but my bike straightened up and I hit the fence. It threw me over my handlebars and I smashed into the track, shoulder and head first. I knew it was a bad one as I was in a lot of pain but I didn't think anything was broken. The doctors at the stadium put me in a neck brace and on a spinal board and even though I wanted to sit up and get my kevlars off, they wouldn't let me.

I was taken straight to the trauma incident room at the hospital. Five doctors cut me out of my race suit and I got scanned and checked out. I was joking away, although it hurt to laugh. I just kept thinking I'd soon get up and go home. But at 3.30am the specialist came in and told me I'd not only broken my shoulder blade but I'd also fractured my vertebrae. I don't mind admitting I cried. I was terrified. It's never good to break anything in your back. It's a rider's worst nightmare.

Thankfully it was on the outside of my spine, against the skin. But I've still had that sinking feeling of it could have been a lot worse. I can't stop thinking had I not been wearing my air jacket maybe my back would have snapped and I'd now be paralysed. It did make me wonder if this is all worth it. But after leaving hospital on Saturday I'm just annoyed I can't ride.

I've just got to keep my shoulder steady, keep eating painkillers, and allow my back and my blade to heal. Everything is a struggle now. It took me 30 minutes to empty the dishwasher. It's a nightmare financially too as I use the first half of the year to buy my equipment and end up going in my overdrafts to do so. Then I catch up and start earning money, which I can't this year.


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I'm hoping to ride again in 2013, maybe in the play-offs. Trying to win trophies for the sides I ride for in Sweden and England gives me something to focus on. I'm determined to come back. We picked up a great point at Poole but I turned the TV on and saw Maciej Janowski and Rory Schlein's big crash. I thought: 'here we go again', and turned it off. I'm glad they walked away.

Finally, I'd just like to thank everyone for all their 'get well soon' messages since my accident. When I checked my phone I was honestly overwhelmed by how many I received.

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- Mads Korneliussen was speaking to Gavin Caney.

• Read Mads' exclusive column first every week on Wednesdays in the EDP.

• Follow Mads on Twitter, or read his previous columns, by clicking on the links on the right-hand side of this page.

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