Valentino Rossi returned to the MotoGP paddock for the first time since being airlifted out of Mugello with a broken leg on June 5, on Thursday at the Sachsenring.

The reigning seven time MotoGP champion has been given final medical clearance to attempt a return to action in this weekend's German Grand Prix - one month earlier than even he had initially hoped.

Speaking at the pre-event press conference, Rossi - who has completed two tests on a Yamaha R1 World Superbike since his accident, but no MotoGP laps - explained his current state of health and why he felt the need to enter the two races that remain before the start of the summer break.

"Immediately after the crash the doctors said it could be five months before I was fit to return; maybe five months to play football, but I just need to ride the bike," said Rossi.

"The feeling in Misano [when he first tested an R1] was quite positive and the feeling in [the second test at] Brno was even better, so we made the decision to return this weekend at Sachsenring. I'm in pretty good shape, but it will be difficult over full race distance I think.

"These two races at Sachsenring and Laguna are very important if I am to comeback in good shape for the last five or six races of the season and try again to win."

The Italian also revealed that the ligament damage to his shoulder, sustained in a motocross accident after his round one victory in Qatar, is actually a greater problem in terms of riding than his healing leg.

"My shoulder has improved a lot as well, but there is still some pain. The injury to the leg was worse, sure, but I think it will be less of a problem on the bike than the shoulder," he revealed.

Rossi refused to confirm or deny the rumours about a possible move to Ducati for the 2011 season, telling the assembled journalists:

"It's too early to say now, but I think we will be ready to announce our plans for 2011 at Brno [August 13-15]."

Rossi has dropped from second in the championship to seventh after missing the last four races.

The #46 is now 104 points behind team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, who has won five of the seven races this season.

"I think everyone is happy to see Valentino back and, from my side, I'm looking forward to fighting with him once again," said Lorenzo, when asked about the return of his team-mate.

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