THE ‘Cases’ Somerset Rebels have moved swiftly to cover the loss of Patrick Hougaard by signing Michael Palm Toft as a short-term injury replacement, the move being subject to BSPA (British Speedway Promoters’ Association) approval, writes Ian Belcher.

Palm Toft, who will join Somerset on a 7.45 average, currently rides for Scunthorpe in the SGB Championship but, as Rebels team manager Garry May said, Hougaard’s shoulder injury is not as bad as first feared.

“We initially thought Patrick had broken his shoulder but it is not quite as bad as that, and all he requires is rest and physiotherapy rather than any surgery,” May said.

“It still means Patrick will miss some matches for us while he recovers and, although we are entering a relatively quiet period as far as meetings are concerned, I would prefer to have a full set of seven riders than rely on the rider replacement facility.

“Although rider replacement worked fairly well for us in the win over Belle Vue, it only needs you to have a rider ‘off colour’ one night and you are up against it.

“So we have signed Michael as a short-term injury replacement until Patrick is deemed to be fit enough to return to the side.

“I would like to thank Scunthorpe promoter Rob Godfrey for his help and co-operation in allowing Michael to join the Rebels, combining his Scunthorpe duties with those at Somerset.”

Palm Toft is due to make his Somerset debut in the Rebels’ SGB Premiership match away at Leicester this Saturday (June 10).