The final race of the 2011 MotoGP season was as forgettable for Nicky Hayden as the rest of the season had been. After a strong showing in practice and a good qualifying position, Hayden was taken out in the first corner in a multiple bike pile up caused by Alvaro Bautista, which also put an end to the races of Hayden's Ducati Marlboro teammate Valentino Rossi and Pramac Ducati's Randy de Puniet, as well as Rizla Suzuki's Alvaro Bautista. The aftermath of that crash left Hayden with a painful reminder, however: the American suffered a fractured scaphoid in the incident.
As a result of the injury, Hayden was unable to test the Ducati Desmosedici GP12 with the aluminium perimeter frame that had been so eagerly anticipated. Though the fracture was not displaced, Hayden's wrist had swollen too much for him to be able to participate safely in the test.
On his return to the US, Hayden had surgery on the wrist to allow it to heal more quickly. The famous motorcycle racing surgeon Dr Arthur Ting inserted a screw to fix the fractured scaphoid together, to allow the bone to heal more quickly. The scaphoid is a notoriously problematic bone to injure, as the bone has very poor blood flow to it, meaning that fractures tend to heal slowly. Fortunately for Hayden, he has some 11 weeks for the bone to heal before the next test, due to take place on January 31st at Sepang in Malaysia.
Below is the official press release from Ducati
HAYDEN UNDERGOES WRIST SURGERY
Ducati Team rider Nicky Hayden underwent surgery on Monday, 14 November, to speed up the healing process on his right wrist, which was injured in a crash at the November 7 Valencia Grand Prix. During the operation, which was carried out at the Fremont Sports Therapy and Surgery Center in Fremont, California, USA, Dr. Arthur Ting placed a small screw in Hayden's fractured scaphoid. The radial styloid, which is also fractured, was not treated.
"Everything went pretty smoothly," Hayden said shortly after the operation. "The scaphoid is a slow-healing bone, so you don't want to wait, only to find out in January that it's not healing correctly. I'm happy to get it fixed right so that I'll be ready to go when I need to be."
After wearing a brace and using a bone stimulator for four weeks, Hayden will have his wrist X-rayed again to assess its status. He is confident of being at full fitness before his return to the track for the first day of the 2012 testing season on January 31 in Sepang, Malaysia.