Nothing official has yet been announced, but it seems that Ben Spies has been ruled out of this weekend's Australian MotoGP due to injuries he suffered in a nasty highside at Sepang on Sunday.
The Factory Yamaha star posted on his Twitter page (@BenSpies11): "9 in the morning flight back to the USA."
And then some follow-up messages: "It's amazing how I'm supposed to be quiet about my injuries 'till something formal goes out, but when I get back to the hotel everyone knows?
"First person at door... Ciao Ben I'm so sorry I hear u go back to USA for surgery. The popular group found out fast!"
Spies has endured a nightmare second season at the Factory Yamaha team, suffering incidents, accidents, sickness and technical problems.
The Texan injured his shoulder in the wet race-day fall at Sepang, but was said to be fit to ride at this weekend's penultimate Phillip Island round.
Spies is moving to Pramac Ducati for 2013, when Valentino Rossi will return to Yamaha.