Dani Pedrosa's annus horribilis continues unabated. Just as the Spaniard was returning to full strength after surgery on his knee, Pedrosa suffered a bizarre hip injury during an incident during practice for the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello. Pedrosa was nearly flicked off his Repsol Honda early in the Saturday morning FP2 session, landing badly and tearing a tendon at the top of his thigh. Pedrosa later crashed out of the race at Mugello, though fortunately without further aggravating his injury.
Back in Barcelona on Monday, scans revealed that Pedrosa's injury is worse than had been feared. The Spaniard also fractured the greater trocanther, a structure near the top of the femur which the hip is connected to with a supporting ligament. Pedrosa must now spend the next 10 days immobilized, after which point he will evaluate whether he will be able to race at his home Grand Prix at Barcelona.
The injury comes as another huge setback to the Spanish rider's championship hopes, and will leave his fitness suffering even further. Pedrosa was just starting to get back to training from his knee injury, suffered during preseason testing, and will be unable to train for some time to come. The only small comfort for the Spaniard is that he will have a further 13 days' rest after the Catalunya Grand Prix at Barcelona before the Dutch TT at Assen. But then, Pedrosa faces four MotoGP races in five weeks, as the season hots up before the summer break. If Pedrosa isn't back to reasonable fitness by then, he's in for a tough summer.
~~~ UPDATED ~~~
The Repsol Honda team have just issued a press release on Pedrosa's condition. The release is shown below:
Dani Pedrosa today returned home to Barcelona where Doctor Xavier Mir, at the USP Institut Universitari Dexeus, confirmed that the Repsol Honda rider had not suffered any further injuries during his crash in yesterday’s Italian Grand Prix.
Pedrosa had started the race injured after a big rear wheel slide and subsequent shake from his bike in Saturday morning’s practice session caused the unlucky Spaniard to incur severe stretching in his right hip. The scans today also showed that the initial diagnosis at the circuit on Saturday had been correct and Pedrosa had pulled the gluteus medius muscle, which caused a small crack in the greater trochanter (thigh) bone where the muscle attaches.
The factory Honda rider will now rest up ahead of the Grand Prix of Catalunya in just under two week’s time. His physical condition will be assessed next week and Pedrosa is hoping to be fit for his home race.
"It's a relief that the tests today didn't show up anything new because I think I have enough to contend with already. The injury from Saturday is still quite painful obviously but with luck it will improve over the next week. The timing of this a real shame because I was feeling as though I was returning to something close to race fitness and could ride the bike as I wanted. Still, this is where we are so we'll just get on with it and try to make a quick recovery. I really hope I can be fit for the next race because it's a very important one for me and the team."