SWINDON Robins ace Zach Wajtknecht aims to be back on track after Christmas as he continues his recovery from a ruptured spleen.

The teenager was ruled out for the season in July, having proved to be a surprise package among team boss Alun Rossiter’s septet from the reserve berth.

Despite the lengthy lay-off, the 19-year-old was yesterday confirmed as returning to ride for the Abbey Stadium club in 2018 and is initially looking to get back on the saddle after the festive period.

“When I got injured I had to take it easy for a few weeks, but I just went back to work with my dad to do building and stuff like that,” he said.

“That has been quite good to ease back into things with different stuff. I’m just trying to get back to normal and then I can start building bikes.

“I was looking to get back on the bike before Christmas but with the weather you can’t tell. Last year I went to France and the Isle of Wight.

“So this year I am looking to get in a few trips away before March, which is always handy.”

The teenager, who won the British U19 Championship before his injury, is not concerned he could miss out on preparation time as he was injured over the summer last year.

Two years ago he broke a finger whilst riding for the Birmingham Brummies after getting his finger caught in one of his bike’s spokes.

Wajtknecht didn’t feel held back by that injury and doesn’t believe his spleen injury will do so either.

“Last year I broke my finger around about the same time as I did my spleen this year, so when I did get back on the bike, it felt normal,” he added.

“The fingers were more of an injury which affected my clutch hand, so hopefully I can just jump back on the bike and make a few changes.

“I was scoring good points, I was just getting the three and fours, in some meetings I did get some bonus points which is good too.

“I was gradually getting on. I found a good set-up and the injury was disappointing but I’m happy I could help them when I could.”

Wajtknecht is overjoyed by his return to Robins colours for their SGB Premiership title defence.

“I was over the moon when they asked me to go back to Swindon,” he said. “I was just getting to grips with racing in the Premiership before I got injured. I was finding some consistency, my scores were improving and I was beating some good riders.

“So to be asked to go back gives me a chance to carry on from where I was. The team is looking strong again with as many faces coming back from last season as we can and it would be amazing if we could win the league for a second season running in 2018.”