Just days before the Repsol Honda team launch in Madrid on Wednesday, Jorge Lorenzo has suffered a wrist injury. The Spaniard fractured his left scaphoid in a training accident while riding dirt track. Lorenzo underwent examinations in Italy and Spain, and is due to undergo surgery in Barcelona on Monday, with Dr. Mir set to operate.
The accident occurred in Italy on Saturday afternoon, and became public when Lorenzo turned up at the Clinica Pederzoli in Peschiera del Garda, in the southeast corner of Lake Garda in Italy. News of Lorenzo's incident emerged on the website of the local Corriere del Veneto paper, who reported that that Lorenzo had spent a couple of hours at the clinic. He was accompanied by two people, a man and a woman, who confirmed that Lorenzo was seeking treatment for a painful hand, but offered no other details.
The news was eventually confirmed on social media, with the Repsol Honda Team Twitter account confirming that Lorenzo had fractured his scaphoid. Italian website GPOne.com has more information on the injury.
Scaphoid injuries are extremely common among motorcycle racers, as it is the bone in the base of the hand, which usually hits the ground first. The list of riders who have broken their scaphoid is very long indeed: Lorenzo joins such names as Casey Stoner, Nicky Hayden, Stefan Bradl, Jack Miller, Kevin Schwantz, and many more. How badly the injury affects a rider can vary enormously, as the bone receives very little blood and tends to heal very slowly. A fracture can be fixed quickly with screws, but the fracture itself may not heal for a very long time.
Nicky Hayden had to have a row of bones, including the scaphoid, removed, after the scaphoid he injured in a crash at Turn 1 at Valencia turned arthritic and failed to heal. Casey Stoner had to have surgery on the scaphoid five years after originally breaking it. On the other hand, Toby Price won the 2019 Dakar Rally with a pinned scaphoid, after breaking it in December.
With just two-and-a-half weeks to go before the Sepang test, the timing of Lorenzo's injury is extremely unfortunate. Lorenzo should be fit enough to test at Sepang from 6-8 February, but he will likely still be in some pain. With Marc Marquez still recovering from shoulder surgery in December, and Cal Crutchlow still in some pain after breaking his ankle at Phillip Island last year, HRC face the first test of 2019 with none of their factory-backed riders at full fitness.
A press release with details of Lorenzo's surgery is expected on Monday, once he has been under the knife.