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Casey Stoner: It wasn’t a holiday

“We won't really know what we can expect from the ankle until tomorrow. It's okay walking around a bit, but the pressures of riding and changing direction are completely different”- Casey Stoner.
Casey Stoner is yet to even try his healing ankle on a bike, ahead of his MotoGP comeback in Friday morning practice for the Japanese Grand Prix.

The reigning double world champion sustained ankle fractures and ligament damage during a massive qualifying highside at Indianapolis in mid-August - but still rode to fourth on race day before being informed that he needed surgery.

Stoner has missed the last three rounds as a result.

"Everyone has been asking me how the holiday at home was, but it's certainly been no holiday,” said Stoner.

“You're lying up resting and can't really do anything, even training was difficult. You have to go everywhere on crutches.

“I went to a couple of V8 races just basically to get out of the house.”

Stoner, who has won four races this year, is mathematically out of the 2012 title fight, which will be decided between Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo and Stoner's Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa.

But he is pleased to at least have the opportunity to finish his MotoGP career on a high, having already announced that he will retire at the end of 2012.

“It's actually really good to be back - it's not the way I wanted to finish my last season with the injury and having to sit out some races and not have a shot at the championship,” he said.

“But we're here to do the best job we can in the four races from now until the end of the season. I feel good and fresh and we'll have to see how I get on with the bike tomorrow.

“I haven't even tried to test the ankle on a bike, because if we tweaked it prematurely and caused more damage we'd be in a lot worse position than we are now. We just rested it as much as we could.

“I had this date in my head as the point to return. Doctors didn't really think it was the best time, but I wasn't going to miss Phillip Island [Stoner's home race and the penultimate round] so I thought I may as well do these two races as well.

“We won't really know what we can expect from the ankle until tomorrow. It's okay walking around a little bit, but the pressures of riding and changing direction are completely different.”

During his absence, Stoner kept something of a casual eye on MotoGP.

“We watched Misano, missed Brno but got the results, and then the television wasn't working for Aragon. We just heard about Nicky's accident and saw some footage. That wasn't good,” he said.

Asked if he found some of the races boring, Stoner smiled: “I only saw Misano. That race could have been similar to Brno [the last turn battle between Lorenzo and Pedrosa] but unfortunately ended up with Jorge running away with it.”

Stoner finished third in last year's Japanese Grand Prix, behind Pedrosa and Lorenzo, but won at Motegi for Ducati in 2010.




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