Injury sidelines John Hopkins again

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A painful rib injury forced John Hopkins to miss the final day of testing in Brno yesterday after the American had only completed a handful of laps on the opening day.

Hopkins, who has had a torrid time through injury in his debut season on board Kawasaki’s factory ZX-RR machine, crashed twice on his return from injury during the Czech Republic GP.

But he is not 100 per cent sure how he picked up the right rib problem, which adds to a mounting injury list.

Hopkins has already broken his hip and left leg in 2008, and he also cracked a bone in his back in Barcelona earlier this season.

Hopkins recently missed three races after suffering mutliple leg injuries in a qualifying crash in Assen and he told MCN:”I can’t believe the luck I’m having with injuries right now.

"I’d had problems with my right side during the weekend but thought it was a stitch or something because I’ve not been able to properly train for around five weeks. I could handle it but after the race I was in agony I guess because I’d not done that many laps together.

"I tried to ride on the first day of the test but it was way too painful changing direction and turning the bike. One of my ribs on my right side has seperated but I should be fine for Misano.”

Hopkins will be joined by Italian Marco Melandri at Kawasaki in 2009, with the Italian confirming exclusively to MCN he will ride a ZX-RR next season on Monday night.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt