After struggling at the MotoGP test in Sepang with a lack of strength in the shoulder he injured during winter training, Nicky Hayden is to undergo shoulder surgery to try to examine and correct the damage sustained. In a press release issued by Ducati on Sunday evening, the American announced that the damage suffered in his shoulder was worse than at first thought, and riding at the tests in Malaysia had highlighted the problems in his shoulder. After flying straight to the office of specialist Dr Ting in California, a preliminary examination showed up damage to the cartilage in his shoulder and muscles in his back, and the decision was taken to have surgery to examine the precise extent of the damage, and attempt to fix the problem.
After the accident occurred - on Hayden's first time out on a motorcycle after recovering from surgery on the wrist he fractured at Valencia, falling while training at an indoor flat track facility near his home in Kentucky - Hayden was diagnosed with a fractured shoulder blade, but that injury was not bad enough to warrant surgery. The discovery of damaged cartilage in the shoulder is more worrying, as recovery from cartilage surgery is a very lengthy process, as Valentino Rossi learned during 2011, taking several months to regain full strength in his shoulder after surgery to correct the injury he also sustained in a training crash. Though the extent of Hayden's injury is not believed to be as severe as the damage which Rossi suffered, his recovery time could be quite lengthy.
Though Ducati made no statements about how surgery will effect Hayden's testing program, it is likely that the American will miss more pre-season testing. Hayden had been scheduled to test new parts for the revamped GP12 at Jerez during the CRT test from February 20th to 22nd. It is unknown whether Hayden will be able to participate in that test, or even take part in the second test at Sepang at the end of this month.
Below is the press release issued by Ducati on Hayden's injury:
Nicky Hayden to undergo left-shoulder surgery to speed recovery
Following the first winter test at Sepang, where his participation was limited due to his left shoulder lacking the strength to ride well, Nicky Hayden traveled directly to Fremont, California, for a thorough 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. Tomorrow the Ducati Team rider will undergo an operation in order to have his condition evaluated more thoroughly, and to treat his injuries.
“Of course another operation before the season is never a good thing, Hayden said, “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.”