While the crash at Motegi in which Dani Pedrosa broke his left collarbone was unfortunate, the aftermath has turned out to be much more difficult than expected. Pedrosa flew home from Japan on the Saturday, and underwent surgery to have a plate fitted to his collarbone. The Spaniard then attempted to race two weeks' later at Phillip Island, but that proved too much to ask of his recently repaired shoulder.
More worryingly, when Pedrosa tried to race at both Estoril and Valencia, a month after breaking his collarbone, the Repsol Honda rider was still reporting problems with his left arm. Pedrosa reported losing both strength and sensation in the arm, his arm going numb after a number of laps racing, but also even when he was asleep. The worst case scenario could have been that Pedrosa had suffered nerve or artery damage during the accident, and this was causing him the problems. Nerve damage, in particular, could potentially have ended his career.
Pedrosa underwent two days of tests to check for such damage earlier this week, and the good news is that no damage was found. The numbness and weakness that Pedrosa reported were merely the result of swelling from the damage caused by his injury. The Spaniard should not require any further surgery to correct the problem, with a period of rest and recuperation prescribed to solve the problem.
Below is the press release from Repsol Honda about Pedrosa's situation:
DANI PEDROSA ADVISED TO REST AFTER FURTHER HOSPITAL TESTS
Repsol Honda Team rider Dani Pedrosa has been advised to rest for four more weeks to fully recover from the effects of his recent collarbone injury and subsequent surgery. The Spaniard visited Doctor Xavier Mir at the Dexeus Univertity Institute Hospital in Barcelona on Thursday to undergo further medical tests to determine the reasons for the numbness and lack of strength in his shoulder and left arm, which had affected Pedrosa's performance in the final races of the 2011 season.
After two days of tests, consisting of a CAT scan, an MRI scan, electromyography and Eco-Doppler tests, the need for further surgery was ruled out. Following his four-week rest period Pedrosa, who secured second place in the MotoGP World Championship at the final race of the year in Valencia last Sunday, will start rehabilitation and return to physical training in order to regain full fitness for the first MotoGP tests of the 2011 season, which take place in M alaysia at the beginning of February.
Doctor Xavier Mir
"Due to the trauma caused by the crash in Japan where Dani broke his left collarbone and needed surgery to fix the bone with a titanium plate, the nerve located over the collarbone, between the neck and the shoulder, received a severe contusion and the heavy inflammation of this area causes fatigue and lack of strength all through the arm. He will need a period of four weeks of complete rest with physiotherapy and anti-inflammatory treatment."
"I've been suffering a lot since Japan and I knew something was wrong with my arm because after the surgery I didn't get better. This lack of strength was very strange and annoying! I was worried because after Estoril we checked the collarbone again and it looked like there was nothing wrong with the plate, but we had no more time between races to check more deeply the reasons f or my lack of strength. I have had other injuries and surgery in the past and I know that you need some time to recover and get fit again, but this time it was taking too long. Now everything is clear and it's good to know that the collarbone is OK and I don't need any more surgery that would take a long time to heal. I hope that within these four weeks the inflammation passes gradually and that I will be able to start rehabilitation and training in the middle of December. We had a good test in Valencia after the final race and I want to start the winter tests in February in Malaysia in a good shape in order to be ready for next year's championship."