Wilson to miss Brummies visit.
REIGNING rider of the year Ben Wilson will miss Redcar Bears' Premier Trophy trip to Birmingham tonight.
But gutsy reserve Stuart Swales has declared himself fit after being rated doubtful as recently as last night.
Wilson crashed heavily on the last corner of the last race in the Simpson Racing UK/RIS Bears' win at Stoke on Saturday.
As well as banging his head he suffered a shoulder injury which has ruled him out of this evening's meeting against a side tipped to be league champions by Bears boss Brian Havelock.
Rider replacement will be used to cover his absence.
Swales meanwhile aggravated a shoulder injury in Sunday's challenge match at Newcastle which was abandoned after four heats due to rain.
He tangled with team- mate Jan Graversen, who was also left bruised but he too has been given the all-clear.
Craig Cook had been put on stand-by as a guest replacement just in case, but Swales has responded well to a course of physio.
The Brummies will be keeping a close eye on the weather ahead of tonight's meeting although the rain and sleet is expected to clear in time.
But, in any case, Havelock could do with a full squad at his disposal with matches away (tomorrow) and at home (Friday) against Sheffield also to come this week.
Former Bear Chris Kerr turned down a winter move back to Teesside in order to join a powerful-looking Birmingham side and has helped them get off to a flying start.
"Birmingham are my tips for the title," said Havelock. "It looks a strong squad. It will be a tough match."
Havelock also confirmed that both sides are intending to use the new, quieter, Prodrive silencer for this evening's match.
Birmingham are fighting a battle against noise issues and were given only one-year planning permission before the start of this season to remain at Perry Barr, and it won't be renewed unless they can limit noise on race nights.
Compulsory use of the new silencers has been delayed until May, but the Bears have agreed to a request from the Birmingham management to use them tonight.
"We've agreed to use the new silencers providing the track is reasonably slick and not too wet," explained Havelock. "If it's deep and wet, the boys are going to say no.
"There will be a noise test carried out by the ACU and the local council so they have begged me to ask the lads to use the new silencer.
"I understand that Sheffield refused last week but their meeting was rained off so they are rather anxious to get these tests underway."
BRUMMIES: 1 Steve Johnston, 2 Aaron Summers, 3 Chris Kerr, 4 Richard Sweetman, 5 Jason Lyons, 6 Justin Sedgmen, 7 Jake Anderson. BEARS: 1 Gary Havelock, 2 Tomas Suchanek, 3 R/R for Ben Wilson, 4 Maks Gregoric, 5 Emiliano Sanchez, 6 Stuart Swales, 7 Jan Graversen.
THE Bears Supporters' Club are taking bookings for coach travel to Monday's match at Scunthorpe (members pounds 9.50, non-members pounds 11.50; juniors pounds 5, non-members pounds 6).
Call 07796 051134 or email email@example.com to book.
INJURED: Ben Wilson misses tonight's match at Birmingham