Nicky Hayden will miss this weekend's Czech Republic Grand Prix due to a foot injury sustained during a Supermoto event at the X Games in Los Angeles on August 1.
The fun outing 'backfired' on the 2006 MotoGP world champion when he injured his right foot during a heavy landing from a jump. The damage is to the calcaneus, or heel area, of the foot.
Following the incident Hayden visited eminent orthopaedic surgeon Dr Arthur Ting and sought the opinion of other specialists who finally advised (on Monday afternoon, US time) that he should rest the injury to avoid further complications and return at the San Marino GP at the end of the month.
"The injury is to a weight-bearing part of the foot and the doctors say that using too much pressure on the 'pegs could very easily give me some big problems," said Hayden who was riding a Honda CRF450 Supermoto bike and didn't actually crash in the incident.
"I went to Dr Ting and got the opinion of other specialists. I've done a lot with Ting, he knows the sport very well and he feels it would be quite risky to ride. He and the other specialists say that if I rode this week I might have to fight the injury for the rest of the year.
"As hard a decision as it is and as bad as I feel about it, I think I'm better off staying home doing rehab and physio, then come back fit at Misano and try to finish the season strong. There's been a lot of guys this year trying to ride less than a hundred per cent and actually making their problems worse," noted Nicky, referring to the likes of Jorge Lorenzo.
"I certainly feel bad about it for my team and I apologise," he added. "I had the permission of HRC to do the Supermoto thing. I just wanted to do some riding during the break, have some fun and I thought that maybe it'd give me a little spark for the rest of the season, but it backfired on me."
Hayden has taken two fourth place finishes so far this year and currently sits just eighth in the world championship standings. Hayden is currently the only Honda rider using the pneumatic-valve engine and had hoped to benefit from its extra power at Brno this weekend.
Hayden's future at Honda is considered at best uncertain and he has been linked with Ducati for 2009.
Hayden's team-mate Dani Pedrosa, who missed the previous US Grand Prix due to injury, will return to action this weekend. Pedrosa is currently third in the world championship standings.
At present, Honda has not announced any replacement rider for this weekend's event, which is followed by an important two day test session - which Hayden will also miss.