Gordon Hatch MotoGP correspondent
Ducati Team riders have operations performed with mixed fortunes
Valentino Rossi is recuperating following a minor operation at home in Italy today when he had a rod removed from his right tibia that was originally inserted in his leg when he crashed heavily in the 2010 Italian Grand Prix. Meanwhile, Rossi's teammate Nicky Hayden also had to have an operation today at home in America when doctors found more damage to his injured left shoulder.
Of course another operation before the season is never a good thing.
Rossi's 2010 crash is now well and truly behind him as the injury is completely healed and has his mind fully set on the second test of the year in Sepang, Malaysia between 28th February and 1st March. Hayden, however, may need to have more surgery following his exploratory operation.
Rossi’s Ducati team said that the Italian is fine following the operation. “Valentino Rossi underwent a small operation this morning at Cattolica’s Cervesi hospital to remove the rod that was inserted in his right tibia following his practice crash at the 2010 Mugello GP. The injury is now completely healed. The operation went well, and the Ducati Team rider will be ready for the second test in Malaysia.”
Back to his normal joker-self Rossi showed his cheeky side by tweeting on his official Twitter page, “I tried to keep my usual elegance even in the operating room,” that accompanied a picture of the megastar in his robes before the operation, an image that harks back to one of Rossi’s personal favorite riders, 1970’s star and two-time World Champion Barry Sheene who is most well-known for allowing the press to take pictures of him while in hospital.
While Rossi looks set for the season ahead and the Ducati Team made good steps in the first test at Sepang with the all-new GP12, teammate Nicky Hayden is not happy with the way his injured shoulder is progressing. Hayden sustained the injury in a training accident near his home in Owensboro, Kentucky, United States.
Following the first winter test Hayden traveled straight to Fremont, California, for a full examination at Doctor Arthur Ting’s clinic. There, tests revealed damage to cartilage in the American’s shoulder, as well as to muscles in his back. Doctors then decided to perform an operation this morning in order to have his condition evaluated more thoroughly, and to treat his injuries.
Speaking after being told of the necessary to undergo the surgery Hayden said, “Of course another operation before the season is never a good thing, but I’m actually happy that I tried to ride at Malaysia, because it helped me to discover that the problem with the shoulder was bigger than we thought. After seeing the scans, it was clear why I couldn’t ride well. Setbacks are a part of life and a part of MotoGP, so we’ll deal with it and do everything possible to get back on the bike in good condition as soon as possible. Ducati and the team are putting maximum effort into this championship, and that helps me to keep my spirits high and to be confident heading into the season.”