Doctors treating injured Moto2 frontrunner Thomas Luthi have confirmed that he will miss the first two rounds of the 2013 season.
The Swiss star suffered 'multiple and complicated' fractures to his right arm, elbow and shoulder after being collected by Ratthapark Wilairot on the third and final day of the opening 2013 test at Valencia.
Luthi later underwent five-hours of surgery to screw and plate his fractures.
Dr Marc Mettler, chief physician at the Swiss hospital where the surgery took place, said that the former 125cc world champion will regain full mobility, but the recovery will take anything from eight to twelve weeks.
That means Luthi will miss the season-opening race at Qatar on April 7th as well as the second grand prix in Austin, Texas on April 21st. The lengthy absence is due to the complexity of his fractures in the upper arm and, most significantly, the elbow region.
"Of course this injury is a big disappointment for me", said Luthi. "But with my doctor of confidence, Dr. Marc Mettler, I am in the best hands and I am optimistic to be able to start the rehab program and the work toward my comeback very soon. It was very nice to feel so much compassion, which motivates me even more to work hard for a speedy recovery!"
Team owner Daniel M. Epp confirmed that a replacement rider will now be sought for the final test and first two races.
"Tom's recovery is our top priority and his absence from racing is of minor importance to us,” said Epp.
"But obviously, we have to prepare for the fact that he will miss the season opening races, which is why we are looking for a replacement rider for the last official IRTA test session at Jerez
and for the first two grands prix in Qatar and Austin.”
Out-of-work 2012 Moto2 podium finisher Gino Rea would be one of the obvious candidates.