British rider Bradley Smith is confident a gruesome left hand injury will not be a painful hindrance during this weekend’s Catalunya MotoGP round in Barcelona.
Smith has undergone intensive treatment in Italy and Spain since suffering a severe open wound to his left little finger in practice crash for the recent Mugello clash.
A planned skin graft was delayed to allow the nasty finger injury the best time to recover naturally and Smith has also avoided surgery on a damaged scaphoid bone in his left wrist.
Smith is undergoing daily treatment on both injuries although earlier today he had to go through excruciating pain to have a wire taken out of his knuckle that was inserted after he rode to ninth in Mugello.
The extension tendon in Smith’s little finger has been damaged beyond repair but he wanted the wire, which was preventing his finger from repeatedly collapsing, removed for this weekend’s race at the Catalunya track.
The 22-year-old told MCN: “They put a wire in but I wanted it out for the race because it fits through the knuckle and just stops it from bending. It just made my finger straight and the last thing I want to be doing is riding with a finger sticking straight out.”
Depending on how the finger holds up during this weekend, Smith has a skin graft operation pencilled in at the renowned Dexeus hospital in Barcelona on Monday night.
He added: “We have pencilled in an operation for Monday evening just in case after the race I decided to do something but as of now I am pretty confident I will be alright. At the moment that’s for the skin graft that they will take from my right wrist and they take it in a way that doesn’t impact on the wrist. I was a bit worried because of the wrist and throttle. The scaphoid is cracked through but it is not displaced.
They want to let that heal naturally but they have to X-ray it after weekend because as soon as it goes wrong then we need to fix it. But if you put metalwork inside bones, with the limited blood supply, it could kill it off. The idea is to let it heal naturally.”
Smith is unsure whether he will need to race with pain-killing injections on Sunday having required three special injections to get him through a gruelling Italian Grand Prix earlier this month.
Smith said he might have to undergo a course of pain-killing injections to help focus his mind on riding his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine and not be distracted by the intense pain and discomfort coming from the finger.
He said: “I had full on local anaesthetic in Mugello and that was three injections. It is just straight in, everything goes numb and job is a good one. I maybe need that again this weekend and the nice thing about having it is that you don’t have to think about the finger. With a million other things running through your mind on a MotoGP bike, I don’t want to be thinking about my finger each time I move it. So I might have an injection in the finger but in the wrist I’m confident it will be good just with taping.”
With Smith desperate to make improvements in his rookie campaign, he badly needs to be fit enough to take part in a post race test session on Monday at Catalunya.
He is confident he will be fit enough to test and he added: “The reason why the operation is scheduled in for Monday is in case riding with it is hurting too much. That way I can have it worked on and give myself the maximum amount of time to be ready for Assen. It is only pencilled in and if I need it I can have it. But I want to ride all day Monday if I can because track time is what I need.”