London - Sunday 3rd Sept 1999 - Malaysia's best Formula 1 hope, Alex Yoong, had responded to physio-therapy extremely well and he is hoping to make round 5 of the 1999 Italian Formula 3000 race at Misano, Italy the coming weekend on the 12th Sept 1999.
After checking out of the intensive care unit of the University Hospital at Leige in Belgium, Alex had been under the care of Mr.K.Badrinath who is the specialist in trauma and orthopaedics in the Ipswich Hospital in the UK. Alex had undergone further MRI scans for the brain and knee at the Royal Cromwell hospital in London which gave him a clean bill of health in so far as concussion damage is concern but his left knee had been confirmed to have sufferred ligament and bone bruising damages.
With intensive physio-therapy treatment the past week, Alex feels that there is a 50% chance of making the Italian F3000 race on the 12th of September and the FIA International F3000 race at Nurburgring on the 25th of September will be a 100% certainty as long as no other complications arise.
Yesterday, Alex paid a courtesy call to consult with Professor Sid Watkins at his London Independent Hospital practice. Prof.Watkins is the FIA Chief Medical Delegate who leads the medical and rescue team in all Formula 1 events. He was the chief medical officer who came to Alex's aid at the crash scene a nd had been the principal person who had given all F1 drivers the best trauma and neurological care at the scene of F1 race and practice accidents.
Prof. Watkins was very candid with Alex and gave the details of his condition and position after the accident. Alex had wanted to know the scenario of the post crash 20 minutes when he was unconscious following the 260kph impact at 6.5 Gs. The Prof had mentioned that Alex's helmet was heavily damaged and had definetly saved his life. He also mentioned that it was quite incredible that there were no broken bones as the front tyre had come through the chassis impacting both legs into an impossibly backward angle.
Well wishers from Malaysia and Europe had been sending get well messages to Alex in London and Alex expressed his gratitude to all of them and especially to the Prime Minister of Malaysia and the Malaysian Ambassador of Belgium who sent a delegation to visit him at the Leige Hospital.
Alex will leave for Dr.Ceccarelli's sports medicine clinic at Pisa, Italy on Monday for a week of preparation to ready himself for the Italian F3000 race.
"I am determined to make the next race as getting race results are crucial to finding sponsors for next year. I'm going to work to regain as much of my physical fitness as I can with Dr.Ceccarelli and at the same time to treat my knee. A re-construction surgery for the ligaments may be necessary but that will have to wait till after my last race of the season." said Alex.
Alex's balance of the 1999 race season after Nurburgring are round 6 and 7 of the Italian F3000 championship in October and the Macau F3 Grand Prix in November.
The Alex Yoong Racing For Malaysia project is supported by the Malaysian Ministry of Youth and Sports, Tourism Malaysia, Malaysia Airlines, Proton, Pan Global Insurance, Neuronet Malaysia, Brylcreem and SAMP.