Conor Cummins is facing an uphill battle at the 2012 Isle of Man TT races as he contends with two broken bones in his hand following a crash at the North West 200.
The Manx favourite was forced to miss Monday's first full practice session as a result of his injured hand and is now playing catch-up on the Tyco Suzuki machines.
Cummins was a sensation at the TT in 2010 when he looked set to win his maiden race in the Superbike class before he was cruelly ruled out with bike trouble.
The Ramsey rider was also in contention in the Senior race when he crashed at the Verandah on the Mountain and suffered a catalogue of injuries that almost ended his career.
He was t-boned by Gary Johnson in the Superbike race at the North West 200 and as a result broke the fifth and sixth metacarpals in his right hand.
Cummins has underwent an intense course of physiotherapy and hyperbaric treatment to enable him to compete in the TT, but he admits he is taking things 'day by day'.
“I broke my fourth and fifth metacarpals in my hand, which is not ideal but I've been very lucky to get the best attention.
“I've been receiving physiotherapy and I've been getting hyperbaric treatment as well. I've been well looked after and I can't thank everyone enough for getting me back on the bike this week,” he told Manx Radio TT 365.
“It's not the worst thing that could have happened but it's far from ideal. Basically I just got side-swiped at the North West going into a start-stop chicane and my hand took the full impact.
“It couldn't have come at a worse time but these things happen in racing. I'm a big boy and I can deal with things like that now, so I've just got to pick myself up and go for it again,” added Cummins.
“It's a day by day thing at the moment and I'm not getting too carried away. I'm a night behind everyone else in practice but at the same time I think I saved my body a bit.
“I was a bit tense on the first lap [on Tuesday] but I'm starting to flow a bit more now on the bike. It's coming on good and I can't complain now.”
On Wednesday, Cummins lapped at 124.375mph on the Tyco Superbike and 121.643mph on the Superstock machine.