Eastbourne’s play-off hopes have been rocked by serious injury to their top-scoring rider.

Star reserve Lewis Blackbird suffered a badly broken leg racing in the Danish League last night.

He sustained a spiral fracture of the fibula and a broken ankle, injuries which appear certain to rule him out for the rest of the season.

The injury cuts short a sensational campaign for Blackbird, who has excelled in his debut Elite League campaign.

He was also enjoying a fine season for his Premier League track Peterborough.

Ironically, Blackbird’s good scores in the Elite League had secured him a chance to boost his income and experience in the Danish League.

He initially turned down an offer to ride in Denmark earlier this season due to lack of equipment.

But he was handed his debut for Grindsted last night and went flying in a crash he felt was no fault of his own.

Blackbird will undergo an operation today.

Eagles will meanwhile start the hunt to cover for a man whose average at reserve basically makes him irreplaceable within the structure of an Elite League line-up.