Cal Crutchlow is out for the rest of the 2018 season, as well as for the winter tests at Valencia and Jerez. The injury the LCR Honda rider sustained in practice at Phillip Island is so severe that it will take at least until the beginning of next year before Crutchlow will be fit enough to attempt to ride.
Crutchlow sustained a so-called 'Pilon' fracture of the tibia, fibula (the two bones in the lower leg), and talus (the bone which hinges the two leg bones, and joins them to the feet). That fracture (Pilon comes from the French word for pestle) is the result of the foot smashing into the ground, and the three bones being crushed together by the force involved.
Crutchlow had surgery to fix the bones, which involved the use of two plates, eight screws and some artificial bone. The severity of the injury is such that he has had to keep his ankle immobile, and with no weight on it. He hopes to start moving it again soon, and will start cycling again this week. But with a typical recovery period of between six and twelve months, Crutchlow has been forced to miss all testing this year.
The LCR Honda rider is aiming for a return at the Sepang test on February 6th, three months after his surgery. The chances of the Englishman being 100% are slim, but he should be fit and strong enough to manage testing and prepare for 2019.
Below is a statement taken from the LCR Honda press release:
“First of all, I would like to say thank you for all the well wishes I have received since the Friday of the Philip Island GP. To all the medical staff at the circuit, my LCR Honda CASTROL Team, HRC and everyone who came to visit me while I was in hospital in Melbourne, especially my wife Lucy who travelled to be with me for the 12 days I had to stay. Also, Jake Harrison and Andy Roche for sorting everything out and, of course, our Team Manager Lucio (Cecchinello) who stayed with me every day until he went to Malaysia”.
“I had excellent surgeons in Matthias Russ and Dr Evans who initially put an external fixator on my leg until the swelling went down and they could operate, which was 6 days later. The crash resulted in a Pilon fracture of my tibia, fibula and talus bone. The surgery was completed in three and half hours and, along with reconstruction with artificial bone, two metal plates and eight screws were inserted”.
“The injury I have can take a recovery time of up to 12 months and, although as a typical motorcycle racer I thought I would be back in time for the Valencia GP, unfortunately this is not the case. I can’t put any weight on my ankle for six weeks, but am continuing to recover and having physiotherapy. This week I will start to try and cycle again and look forward to preparing for Sepang in February 2019”.
“I have had a fantastic season again with the LCR Honda CASTROL Team and HRC and I look forward to making more great memories in 2019-2020. Good luck this weekend in Valencia to my team and to all the people on the MotoGP grid. I look forward to watching the best motorsport championship there is as a fan this weekend.”