As expected, Nicky Hayden has withdrawn from the Mugello round of MotoGP. His right wrist, which is still swollen and inflamed, is causing him too much pain to be able to ride safely. Hayden is scheduled to have surgery on the wrist on Tuesday in Italy.
The problems with Hayden's wrist started in Valencia in 2011, in the first corner crash at the last race of that season. He broke the scaphoid bone in his hand, and had surgery to pin the bone together. Another crash at Austin aggravated the injury, and since then, the wrist has occasionally flared up and caused him problems. Hayden had surgery last December to remove the screw holding the scaphoid together and have a bone graft, but at Jerez the wrist started causing problems again, with no real cause. 'I didn't crash, I didn't really have a big moment or anything. It just suddenly started hurting real bad in the middle of the night,' Hayden said. Another crash at Le Mans didn't help the situation, and at Mugello, he hasn't really been able to ride, doing just eleven laps in total on Friday.
Hayden was not certain when he would be able to return, but he said the aim was to get back to racing as soon as possible. The surgery will be orthoscopic, to make the recovery period as short as possible. The initial plan was to clean up the entire joint, Hayden said, as it was showing signs of arthritis due to the bone healing process. The state of the scaphoid bone would also be assessed, though Hayden was confident that was now fully healed.
Below is the press release issued by the Aspar team:
NICKY HAYDEN PULLS OUT OF ITALIAN GP
DRIVE M7 Aspar rider unable to continue due to wrist pain; plans to undergo surgery in Italy next Tuesday
After completing just eleven laps yesterday DRIVE M7 Aspar rider Nicky Hayden took the decision just moments before this morning's third free practice session for the Italian Grand Prix that he will take no further part in the sixth round of the MotoGP World Championship. Nicky has suffered with the problem since round four in Spain but treatment in between races has allowed him to continue racing. However, at such a demanding circuit as Mugello the swelling and pain became unbearable and the best option for 'The Kentucky Kid' was to pull out.
Hayden is scheduled to undergo arthroscopic surgery at 8am next Tuesday here in Italy. The exploratory operation will be conducted by hand specialist Riccardo Luchetti, who will hopefully be able to identify the cause of the problem whilst cleaning up the affected area and reducing the swelling so that Nicky can return to competitive action as soon as possible.
Nicky Hayden: “My wrist isn't getting any better so as hard a decision as it is to take the best thing for me is to listen to the doctors and skip this race. We need to stop thinking about riding and start thinking about a plan for the operation next week and my subsequent recovery. Mugello is a fast and physical circuit at the best of times but with the pain and loss of strength in my right hand it was getting really difficult to brake properly and it was risky to continue. It is a shame to miss any race but especially Mugello, a circuit I love. It's also a shame for the team because we are really starting to build something together and we are understanding how to make progress more quickly during the weekend. My mechanics are working hard to make things easy for me and to give me the chance to get faster. I feel bad to miss this round, for the team and the sponsors.”