BSB: Byrne recovery takes step forward

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Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne has taken a big step forward his recovery after having the ‘halo’ cage he’s been wearing since his crash at Snetterton removed.

Byrne broke his neck and back in several places in a testing crash at the Norfolk circuit in May.

Given the extent of his injuries, doctors were amazed he wasn’t paralysed, but the six-time Bennetts British Superbike Champion still had a long road ahead.

Instead of taking the option to fuse his broken neck, Byrne opted for medics to fit a ‘halo’ contraption, which was held in place by four screws in his skull and attached by four bars to a stiff, lightweight vest that fit around his chest – this prevents any movement from the neck and spine to give the injuries the best chance of healing naturally.

A CT scan today has revealed that the bones in Byrne’s neck have started to grow back, meaning his surgeon was happy to remove the halo and replace it with a more standard neck brace which has to be worn for at least the next month before further checks.

While there’s still a long way to go in Byrne’s recovery process, this is good news for the reigning BSB champion.

“It feels a bit weird, but I’m so happy to have the halo off,” Byrne told MCN this afternoon. “I’ve just had a 25 minute shower and I can’t tell you how great it felt!

“I’ve got to wear the neck brace now until the end of August when I’ll head back for another scan and at that point we will hopefully be able to start some physio to try and get some movement.

“Then I’ll have another CT scan at six months to see if there’s any more progress with the bone growth. I’ll hopefully be able to have all the metalwork removed from my back after nine months too. There’s a long road ahead but that’s a nice step made today.”

Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing