NEWPORT'S Ben Howe is out for three weeks following his knee injury against Swindon at the weekend which was left 'cut to the bone', writes Ryland James.

Promoter Tim Stone has moved quickly to sign up the talents of Oxford Cheetah's Andrew Appleton (pictured) as guest rider for Howe, who has only just returned to speedway after spending the whole of last season recuperating from a bad arm injury.

The former England Test star, was badly hurt after crashing on a bend and was rushed to the Royal Gwent hospital where it was discovered he had had a lucky escape - if the cut been half an inch bigger it would have cut through his knee ligaments.

Even though Howe managed initially to walk away from the crash, the gashed knee will keep him out of Sunday's Hayley Stadium meeting against Trelawny Tigers.

Promoter Tim Stone said: "We found out on Sunday that Ben has been very lucky, if the cut had been half an inch further it would have sliced through his knee ligaments, as it was the cut was to the bone."

It seems to have been a lucky week for Newport riders in terms of injuries, while Howe's injury could have been a lot worse, Barrie Evans is bruised, but still able to ride against the Tigers despite destroying a safety fence during Newport's win at Reading on Monday in their Severn Bridge Trophy success.

Evans may well be fit to play, but his bike is definitely finished and he has had to buy a replacement this week.

With the side looking to have gelled quickly this season, Newport should not have too many problems from the Trelawny side which includes last season's captain Steve Masters.

While on Bank Holiday Monday, Newport Mavericks are in action in the first-ever Welsh derby as they face new side Carmarthen (11am) in their first ever race.

Newport have high hopes of success in the Conference League this season and apart from it being a unique occasion Stone is also keen to see his side get off to a winning start.

But Stone will be more preoccupied this weekend as he looks to keep his side on their successful roll.

Newport: Craig Watson, Frank Smart, Ben Howe, Scott Smith, Lee Dicken, Barrie Evans, Carl Wilkinson.

Trelawny: Chris Harris, Seemond Stephens, Emiliano Sanchez, Steve Masters, Pavel Ondrasik, Richard Wolff, Simon Phillips.