Ben Spies is set to miss the remainder of the 2012 MotoGP season. The damage done to Spies' shoulder in the highside he suffered at Sepang was worse than expected, and required much more repair work than was at first anticipated. Spies damaged the ligaments in the anatomical structure which connects the collarbone to the scapula (or shoulder blade), requiring more extensive repairs, including adding tissue to strengthen the ligaments that were torn.
The good news for Ben Spies is that his shoulder should be stronger when he returns to full fitness than before the crash, as the surgery also removed a plate Spies had had fitted previously, and removed some existing looseness in the joint, Spies' mother Mary told Cycle World. The bad news is that there is a 10-week recovery period, with Spies forced to spend that period with his arm in a sling to immobilize his shoulder. The long recovery period means that Spies will be forced to miss the last two races of the season, as well as the first MotoGP test of the 2013 season at Valencia, where he is scheduled to make his debut on the Ducati junior team run by Pramac.
The surgery has put a premature end to Spies' career with Yamaha. The injury is a miserable end to one of the roughest and ill-fated seasons in motorcycle racing history. Spies will be hoping that this will finally bring his run of appalling bad luck to an end.
Below is the official press release issued by Yamaha on Spies surgery. For more details from Mary Spies, visit the Cycle World website.
Ben Spies Undergoes Successful Surgery in the USA
Yamaha Factory Racing rider Ben Spies has successfully completed surgery in the USA on October 23rd to repair torn ligament damage to his right shoulder following a crash in the Grand Prix of Malaysia on the 20th October.
The procedure consisted of the reconstruction of the Coracoclavicular Ligaments torn in the crash and a reduction of a separated Acrimioclavicular joint, aided by a Twin Tightrope device, which is a suture based system. Cadavar tissue was placed to replace and reinforce the Coracoclavicular Ligaments that were torn.
The surgery was successful, Spies will make a full recovery although he will need to remain in a sling for up to 10-12 weeks.
The decision on a replacement rider for the final round of the Championship at Valencia will be clarified by Yamaha Factory Racing following the Phillip Island weekend.