01/02/2017, 08:38

Danish rider Peter Kildemand admits doctors wanted to end his 2016 FIM Speedway Grand Prix series in June as he recovers from cruciate knee ligament surgery.

The SGP first reserve fell short of qualifying for this year’s World Championship after finishing 12th overall, despite winning the season-opening Slovenian SGP.

Kildemand admits he has been nursing a knee injury since 2015, but says it became particularly troublesome last season.

"The doctor told me in June that he didn’t think I should ride on it anymore because they wanted to operate on it then. But I wanted to keep going."

- Peter Kildemand

It was bad enough for doctors to encourage him to sit the second half of the year out. But PK was keen to keep going.

He said: “In 2015, I snapped the cruciate ligament – the big one at the front. So they replaced it. They took some ligaments from the back of the knee and put them in the front. To be fair, it has worked quite well.

“I rode with it for two seasons. But I had a few injuries last year and it just got much, much worse. At the end of the season, I couldn’t really use my leg too much.

“If I had been busy and racing a couple of days in a row or something like that, it started to get swollen and hurt much more. So that’s why I needed to get the operation done. This was the time to get it 100 percent right.

“I couldn’t train as much as I wanted to last year because I had so much trouble with the knee.

“The doctor told me in June that he didn’t think I should ride on it anymore because they wanted to operate on it then. But I wanted to keep going, get the season done, have the operation straight after and then recover over the winter.

“When I finally got it done, it was much worse. It was a small injury in the beginning, but I had raced with it and had a couple of small crashes.”

Kildemand admits it had an impact as he was unable to live up to the sensational 2015 season, which saw him win the Kjærgaard Danish SGP and fall just three points short of automatic qualification in ninth place.

He said: “Of course it affected me over the course of the season – maybe more mentally than it did physically – because I couldn’t really do what I wanted to.

“Maybe it didn’t affect me when I was racing, but it affects you when you have some bad times. I couldn’t run and I couldn’t be as fit as I wanted to be. But I’m glad I’ve got it done, and now I am going for it.”

Kildemand is confident he can be fit for the new season as his recovery picks up pace. He said: “I don’t see any problem with being fit for March.

“When I raced, I’ve raced with a knee brace. I can run on it and I can cycle, so I don’t see any problems at all with racing. Of course I’m not 100 percent fit in my right leg, but it would be alright to ride speedway.

“I’d say the first couple of months were quite tough. But the last month has gone quite well – since Christmas it has actually started going much better.

“I’ve started to run a bit on it now. I can run 4km slow and steady. It’s going in the right direction. I’m cycling again and going quite hard at the gym also, so that’s great.”


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