Ducati's Nicky Hayden has his sights set on a return to action at the opening pre-season test at Sepang at the end of this month.

The American star broke his left shoulder blade and fractured three ribs following a motocross training accident on a flat track near his home in Kentucky last month.

Speaking at the annual Wrooom media launch for Ducati and Ferrari in Italy on Tuesday, Hayden said he was happy with the progress he was making in his battle to be fit for the opening test in Malaysia.

Hayden, who was already recovering from a scaphoid injury he suffered in Valencia when the accident occurred, said: "I'm quite better now. It has been two weeks today and now I can remove the sling. The first bit was a little bit uncomfortable because I broke three ribs, and ribs are never fun, but now I can take away the sling and do a bit of rehab.

"The goal is to be able to ride in Malaysia. It is going to be a little bit close though, because the shoulder blade I broke bad a little way through. But [there will be] no operation because it is not an easy one to fix, with a lot of muscle and other soft tissue that you have to cut for an operation.

"But I feel a lot better now - and the target is to be in Sepang. I already missed one test [November's post-race test at Valencia] and I don't want to miss another one."

The Sepang test is scheduled to get under way on January 31.