WSB: World Superbike stars go under the knife

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A number of top World Superbike riders have been under the knife in the past week to fix a combination of both new and old injuries. 

Reigning World Champion Jonathan Rea underwent surgery in Barcelona last night to relieve compartment syndrome, more commonly known as ‘arm pump’ – something he has struggled with for most of his career. 

“I’m very happy with the surgery as I have been struggling with this condition for a long time,” Jonathan said. “I found myself not only suffering physically, but mentally as it took a lot of focus away from me when I was racing. 

“Some circuits on the calendar present a bigger problem than others, so I’m excited to be able to try and get on top of this problem and not have to think about it anymore.”

One of Rea’s biggest rivals, Chaz Davies was also on the operating table yesterday as he went for surgery to have a plate removed from his wrist. 

Italian Marco Melandri has also recently undergone surgery after sustaining a knee injury during a charity football match. The procedure was without complication and the Italian should be fully fit by the time testing resumes at the end of January. 


He said: “Looking on the bright side, perhaps I was lucky to encounter this issue at this time of the year, when both the championship and tests are over,” reasoned Melandri after his operation. “It’s better to pay my dues with bad luck now, when we have all the time to recover. I was simply walking on the field when I felt a crack, so it’s safe to say it would have only been a matter of time before this injury happened. I will start rehabilitation right away and in 8-10 days I should be able to walk without crutches. I can’t wait to be back on my Panigale R.”

Honda’s Nicky Hayden was another to have successful surgery on a knee injury after his right medial collateral ligament (MCL) became detached in a flat-track training incident before last week’s Jerez test.  

“Unfortunately I injured my knee between the two tests at Aragon and Jerez,” he said. “I had chance to go do some flat-track training during my days off on a small, second-gear track but I caught my foot awkwardly in a bit of a rut and twisted my knee around. Luckily, I didn’t crash or hurt anything else, but I knew something was wrong with my knee!

“It turned out I had a tear to the MCL, so, after consulting with some doctors back in the US, I had an operation to fix it. I will rest for a few days but it looks like I’m going to restart rehab very soon and will follow the Doctor’s instructions very closely.

“Injuries are never good, but luckily I have a bit of time before the new season comes around.”

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

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