Nicky Hayden has undergone successful surgery on the long-running right wrist injury that forced the American to withdraw from last weekend’s Italian Grand Prix in Mugello.
Hayden has been plagued with right hand and wrist problems ever since he was caught up in a first corner pile-up involving Valentino Rossi, Andrea Dovizioso and Alvaro Bautista in the final round in Valencia in 2011.
Hayden underwent additional surgery last November and thought his problems were over, only for chronic pain and swelling to return during last month’s Jerez round.
Hayden was in agony again in Mugello and withdrew on the advice of GP medics after the first day of practice before undergoing further keyhole surgery in Italy today.
Hayden underwent a 90-minute procedure in an operation carried out by Dr Riccardo Luchetti. The 2006 MotoGP world champion was discharged today and is now facing a race to be fit for the seventh round of 2014 at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona on June 15.
The recent injury flare-up has baffled Hayden and he said: “I have no strength in my hand and a lot of pain. I am not fighting for a championship, so it is better not to keep riding in this condition and have surgery. It’s not clear what the issue is and is not like I crashed and had this problem, so it is frustrating.
I had an operation last November and everything healed and I did the pre-season and first three races race with no problems. And then on Saturday night in Jerez I felt some pain. I woke up with lot of inflammation and pain but hadn't crashed and from there it has not got better.”
Hayden was unsure how long the recovery from surgery would be, but he hopes to be fit for the next race in Spain.
He added: “It's impossible to say. It's not like a broken bone. I have a joint that keeps releasing fluid. It’s in the wrist but because it's bleeding into my hand, the whole hand swells up when I ride.”