Stewart-Haas Racing announced on Monday that Tony Stewart has undergone a third surgical procedure on his right leg, which suffered a broken tibia and fibula in a Monday night regional sprint car race in Iowa on August 5.

The team described the surgery, which hasn't originally been expected as part of Stewart's recovery process, as a "proactive measure" to examine and close a wound on his shin. Stewart himself said last month that he had hoped not to have any additional surgeries.

The team added that the new surgery shouldn't change the schedule for Stewart's return to competition in time for the start of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Daytona in February.

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Stewart is currently still in hospital for observation following the latest surgery.

The first surgery for Stewart came the day after the August 5 accident when he underwent a preliminary procedure to stabilize and clean the Grade 2 injury at a local facility in Iowa. The second surgery took place three days later in North Carolina, in which a specialist inserted a metal rod inside the tibia to support the correct anatomical position.

Stewart's team mate Danica Patrick talked about Stewart's recuperation at the weekend during the build-up to the Cup race at Kansas Speedway, and had given no hint that more surgery was on the way for Stewart.

"Tony pushes hard, he works hard, he's doing really good," Patrick had said on Friday. "He is very focused on recovery and doing what's right along the way.

"That's good because you know he's got that rebellion streak in him but he's been very dedicated to the process," she added. "So, you'll see him back just as good as ever."