Valentino Rossi has spoken of his condition following the operation on his troublesome shoulder, the outgoing MotoGP world champion admitting he is 'in a lot of pain' but looking forward to getting back to 100 per cent.
Though his season was directly hampered by the leg injury he sustained at Mugello, one that put him out of competition for four races, it was the lingering effects of a shoulder complaint – caused in a motocross training accident – that proved a more persistent issue.
Seeing out the season with FIAT Yamaha, Rossi went under the knife this week to correct the damaged tendons and has been told to rest for the next 90 days.
Though the operation was considered a success, Rossi, in an interview with Italian television series Striscia la Notizia
, concedes the damage to his shoulder was worse than originally believed.
“I'm not feeling great in the sense that I'm in a lot of pain, which the day after an operation is normal,” he said. “I'm struggling to sleep, but the operation all went to-plan and everything's okay. Right now I've got my arm in plaster, but my shoulder should return to 100 per cent, so it's just a question of time.
“My shoulder was a lot worse than we had been hoping it would be, unfortunately, which meant the operation took twice as long as it should have done. All the tendons and bits that we had thought were maybe only slightly damaged were completely broken, so they've given me a new shoulder now – I can't wait to try it out!”
Looking back on his season, Rossi says he struggled to finish the year, despite posting some good results, including a race win at Sepang.
“Aside from the problem I had with my leg, I had this shoulder injury too. I tried to stay strong all the way to the end of the season and I was even able to ride some good races, but it was hard and through slightly gritted teeth.”
Though the next MotoGP test in Malaysia is in less than 90 days, Rossi is determined to make it out for what will be a crucial second outing with new employers Ducati.
“Thank you to everyone as ever for the fanatical support, and on 1 February, for the first test of 2011, I hope to be on top form with Ducati.”