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MOTOGP NEWS 

Rossi to be on crutches for six weeks

Valentino Rossi is taken to hospital after his Mugello crashValentino Rossi is expected to be on crutches for at least six weeks in the wake of his leg-breaking crash in practice for the Italian Grand Prix, but the surgeon treating him was satisfied with the outcome of the operation to fix the wound.

The world champion will miss a grand prix due to injury for the first time in his long career this weekend, having suffered an open fracture to his right tibia when he had a violent high side in final practice at Mugello.

Rossi underwent a two and a half hour operation at the Centro Traumatologico Ortopedico in Florence this afternoon, with the surgery carried out by Dr Roberto Buzzi from the trauma centre and the MotoGP mobile clinic's Dr Claudio Costa.

"We received Valentino Rossi at the Careggi Hospital, where we made detailed checks in order to rule out any other injuries, and the results were satisfactory," said Dr Buzzi. "We therefore decided to proceed with the surgery for the exposed fracture of the right leg.

"We performed a spinal block [epidural] and cleaned and washed the fracture, which was then aligned and stabilised with a pin. The surgery had good results; the alignment was good and the bone is now stable.

"The wound remains open, as is usual in these cases, and it will be stitched in the next few days with another short surgery. We are confident that Valentino will be able to leave the hospital in a week to ten days, able to put weight on the leg with the aid of crutches.

"It is difficult to say how long the post-surgery rehabilitation will take, we need to evaluate the progress of the patient and also what the x-rays will show. But I think that we can reasonably think of six weeks partial weight-bearing with crutches, after which Valentino needs to be re-evaluated, according to his feedback and further x-rays."

The injury is set to rule Rossi out of a significant part of the 2010 MotoGP season, with six races taking place in quick succession between now and the end of July - and the likelihood that even if he is able to return to the track sooner than expected, his fitness may well remain compromised in his initial comeback races.

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