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Hopkins has metal plates removed in California

Hopkins has metal plates removed in California

Kawasaki´s John Hopkins will need four weeks of rest and recuperation following a torrid season and surgery this week to remove various supportive plates from his left leg.

MotoGP´s Anglo-American star John Hopkins was in a positive mood following a successful operation at the Fremont Surgery Centre in California on Thursday, where he had the metal plates from his left ankle and left foot removed.

Having suffered a nasty groin injury in pre-season at Phillip Island at the beginning of 2008, Hopkins´ season was ruined by a horrific crash in practice at Assen in June - resulting in broken bones in his left leg and a period on the sidelines.

The 25-year-old therefore underwent a surgical procedure to remove the supportive elements in his leg, performed by Doctor Arthur Ting, who also carried out keyhole surgery to clean up scar tissue and cartilage damage in Hopkins´ left knee.

Dr Ting also removed a metal plate from Hopkins´ left hand, the result of a previous injury. The former Suzuki competitor was allowed home on Friday after being kept in for 24 hours, merely as a precautionary measure. He now faces a four week recuperation period, with only mild rehabilitation exercise, before full training can be resumed.

The Kawasaki rider commented, `It´s unbelievable; it´s great to be hardware free again after all this time. I have had several injuries in the past and have had to go through a few surgical ordeals since I was 13 years-of-age, but you never really get used to it. Now all the metal is out of my body I´m looking forward to some rest and recuperation, and spending time with my wife Ashleigh and our two families during the Christmas holiday period. Doctor Ting reckons it will be four weeks before I can start training properly again, but that should give me time to be fighting fit, ready for the start of pre-season testing at the end of January.´

Kawasaki´s Competition Manager Michael Bartholemy, added, `John has been either injured, or handicapped by his injuries, for almost the entire season, so the removal of all the metal from his body is an important step in the recovery process for him. He´ll need approximately four weeks to recover fully from the surgery, but he will then be able to resume his pre-season training programme at full intensity, which should see him fully fit again prior to the first test of the new season at the end of January.´

`It has been hard watching John ride injured this year, so I´m looking forward to seeing him back on the bike fully fit once again. Having John back at 100 per cent is important to us now, as we will have the all-new Ninja ZX-RR at the first test of 2009, and we need both our riders on top form if we are to have the bike ready for the first race in April.´

MotoGP, 2008, John Hopkins, Kawasaki Racing Team

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