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Stoner injury could lead to preseason absence

Stoner injury could lead to preseason absence

Requiring an operation on his troublesome scaphoid, Casey Stoner is likely to miss some of the preseason tests for 2009. There is also an outside chance that the World Champion will not complete the current season.

2007 World Champion Casey Stoner´s improperly-healed scaphoid fracture has been well documented in recent weeks, with the 2003 injury causing the Ducati rider pain during races and practices.

Such are the problems caused by the injury that there is a chance of the Australian missing the final part of this season, although this is an unlikely course of action. He admitted that his condition was not what he wished it was at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix, and acknowledged that an operation was on the cards.

`I´m not 100% but I've got a few weeks to try and improve a few things,´ said Stoner. `I do need an operation, but we´ll race for as long as we can and try and do it at the end of the season. I don´t think that we will do the tests at the end of this year; maybe Valencia but I´m not sure.´

Ducati MotoGP Project Manager Livio Suppo revealed doubts about the true extent of the poker-faced professional Stoner´s injury at Indianapolis, taking a pragmatic approach to any possible operation in advance of next season.

`Let´s say that at the moment, it (the injury) is a problem in the races for Casey. He doesn´t speak too much about it, but we will be taking things race-by-race,´ explained Suppo.

`If the pain is manageable then he will finish the season, otherwise we will try and get something arranged earlier. At the moment it seems that he will be able to complete the year, but if he is operated on after Valencia then he will definitely miss the Jerez test –that´s not a big issue as he doesn´t need a lot of tests in which to understand the bike.´

If Stoner were to miss a chunk of preseason due to an old injury, it would not be for the first time in his MotoGP career. The current title holder had preparations for his premier class debut in 2006 hindered by a right shoulder injury, a six year-old ailment for which he had to undergo surgery. At the beginning of 2008 he suffered a crash at Jerez, injuring his collarbone and missing a chunk of the testing schedule.

MotoGP, 2008, Casey Stoner

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