Beattie to undergo shoulder reconstruction today
FRIDAY, AUGUST 24: Former 500cc grand prix motorcycle rider Daryl Beattie will today undergo a full shoulder reconstruction in Brisbane to repair injuries sustained when he crashed out of the Australian Safari international cross country rally earlier this week.
Beattie, runner-up to fellow-Australian Michael Doohan in the 500cc world championship in 1995, injured his left shoulder after falling heavily from his Honda XR650 near Alice Springs last Sunday (August 19) during the opening stage of the 4,426km event through the Northern Territory.
The 30-year-old returned home to the Gold Coast the following day in considerable discomfort, and since then he has undergone a series of examinations in Queensland to determine the extent of the injuries.
"I've had x-rays, an MRI scan, and I've seen an orthopaedic surgeon and the shoulder needs a full reconstruction," said Beattie.
"The bone in the knuckle of the shoulder is broken and they need to re-stitch the tendons back on. The top of my shoulder down to the elbow is still numb from nerve damage. I'm expecting to be in hospital for a couple of days, and then it will two months of physiotherapy to get things back to normal."
Beattie previously injured the same shoulder in crashes during the 1992 All-Japan 500cc Championship, which he won on a works Honda, and at Assen three years later when he was flung off a Lucky Strike Suzuki during qualifying for the 500cc Dutch Grand Prix.
He retired from 500cc grand prix racing in 1997, and the Safari was both his comeback to competition and his off-road racing debut.
Beattie said that despite his crash this week, and his injuries, he was keen to return and compete in the Safari again in 2002.
"What happened this year was disappointing because I'd put in a lot of training and preparation, but that's the way racing goes," he said. "I'm keen to come back and have another go next year and try to make it to the finish."
The Safari continues today with the sixth stage over 627km from Top Springs to Douglas Daly. South Australia's Andrew Caldecott leads the Moto Division on a KTM 660 Rallye, and Sydney's Bruce Garland is first in the Auto Division for four-wheel-drive vehicles in a Holden Rally Team Jackaroo.