Question marks hangs over Louis' future

CHRIS Louis' riding future has to be in question after the 38-year-old Ipswich Evening Star Witches skipper broke his upper right arm last night.Louis is in his 20th year riding for his home town club where he has become an institution, also acting as skipper and rider/manager.

Elvin King

CHRIS Louis' riding future has to be in question after the 38-year-old Ipswich Evening Star Witches skipper broke his upper right arm last night.

Louis is in his 20th year riding for his home town club where he has become an institution, also acting as skipper and rider/manager.

He has been tipped to take over from his father John as promoter, and it remains to be seen whether this injury hastens this process.


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Early estimates are that it will be September before the former world number three will be able to return to the track.

It is a similar injury that ended the career of former Witch Paul Hurry.

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Full use of the right arm is vital for speedway riders and any weakness would severely restrict performance.

Louis has recovered from two far worse injuries - firstly when he suffered severe head injuries in a crash in Poland that left him in an intensive care unit and, for a while, a swollen brain.

He did well to recover from that, but he missed one full season two years later after having to be flown home by air ambulance from Sweden after suffering a delicate back injury.

Louis had to wear a special brace for months before taking to the saddle again at the start of the 2004 campaign.

He will be fighting to ride again after a period of recovery, but the question remains whether his latest injury - witnessed by his wife Julie and two daughters - will mark an end of an era.

Jason Gillingham, chief paramedic at Foxhall Stadium who attended to Louis before he was taken to hospital, confirmed the fracture is above the elbow.

He said: “I hope the fracture does not prove as severe as the one Paul Hurry suffered, but it will be September as least before I would expect Chris to be able to ride again.

“It is normal procedure in these circumstances to have an operation, and I can confirm that there were no other complications.

“Chris was fully conscious throughout his treatment on the track and he confirmed that he did not make contact with the track tractor.

“The injury was suffered either when he made contact with Lewis Bridger's stray bike or when he struck the ground.”

Ipswich, who had to soldier on without Mark Loram when the former world champion suffered a broken femur at the start of last season, are likely to re-declare their one to seven and bring in a new rider to replace Louis rather than use rider replacement for five months.

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