Stroll was told he wouldn't be back in F1 until Australian GP

Aston Martin Formula 1 driver Lance Stroll has revealed that doctors initially forecast he would not make his return from injury until the 2023 Australian Grand Prix in April.

Stroll was told he wouldn't be back in F1 until Australian GP

The Canadian was involved in a cycling incident in Spain while building up his fitness.

He "banged up" his left wrist, required surgery and a pin to be inserted by famed MotoGP doctor Xavier Mir in his right wrist, and sustained a broken toe.

As a result, Stroll was forced to miss pre-season testing in Bahrain, where reigning F2 champion and Aston Martin reserve Felipe Drugovich instead drove the AMR23.

But Stroll made an unlikely return for the season opener and with the steering assistance increased, battled through the pain to score sixth place.

However, he has revealed that his comeback was well ahead of schedule, with some doctors predicting he would need to wait until round three in Melbourne on 2 April.

When asked by Autosport about how his condition had been managed, Stroll said: "My whole medical team has been incredible. Without [Mir], it wouldn't be possible to be here right now. He's been unbelievable.

"My osteopath has been with me 10 hours a day, rehabbing my wrists, fixing my toe as much as - you can't do much with toes, but as much as possible.

"There's a list of people that helped me over the last two weeks, 14 days ago exactly. I've had people, doctors saying maybe Australia [to return]."

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR23

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR23

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Elaborating on his in-car condition, Stroll reckoned he had been fuelled by paracetamol, ibuprofen and adrenaline.

Nevertheless, pain became the "biggest limiting factor" in the closing 20 laps, particularly with the amount of steering lock required for the Turn 10 sharp left.

Stroll, who in practice had to resort to taking his hand off the wheel to make Turn 1, added: "I'm happy to pick up sixth considering everything that happened over the last two weeks.

"I couldn't move 10 days ago, I couldn't walk. I couldn't move both hands. I was a vegetable pretty much. I didn't think I would be here right now."

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Asked for his recovery plans between Bahrain and the second race in Saudi Arabia a fortnight later, Stroll said: "Keep rehabbing. I've 12 days now to keep working on my wrist, but I'm feeling a lot better every day.

"My right wrist is feeling really solid, the one I got surgery on. The left one, I think it's just time with hairline fractures.

"So, it should be better, and my toes are feeling better every day."

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