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Gino Rea reveals thumb injury risks

22 March 2011

Gino Rea says there is a high risk that he could hamper recovery of his recently-injured thumb when he takes part in his home World Supersport event at Donington Park.

The Step Racing Honda rider tore the tendon in the thumb in an accident during the Phillip Island weekend, with doctors revealing he had the option of having it 'hyper-extended' by having a pin inserted or having it in a splint.

With the former option preventing him from bending the thumb, the eight week recovery time would have put him out of action for Donington Park and also Assen.

Though the latter option also necessitates an eight-week recovery, it does allow him to compete. However, he admits that he could put himself back to the beginning of the recovery process if he happens to bend the thumb back at Donington Park – something he says is likely.

"On the Monday after the Phillip Island race my hand and mainly thumb were pretty swollen, so we drove up to Melbourne to see a hand surgeon and they gave us good and bad news.

"The tendon that controls the movement of the bone in my thumb had torn off and had to be reattached to gain movement. If they were to operate to reattach the tendon I would need a pin inside to keep the thumb permanently hyper-extended. This would take up to eight weeks to heal and I would not be able to bend it at all. I'd have to miss Donington because if I crash again with my thumb fully extended, it could rip my thumb off. Not nice!

"So, the only other option was to put my thumb in a splint which also keeps it in hyperextension but without operating and putting a pin in. This also takes up to 8 weeks to heal but the advantage with this is that I can still try to ride at Donington. I will just have ride with a slightly smaller splint than I have now, I just I cannot afford to bend the thumb at all, even when on the bike.

“[The] Disadvantage being as soon as I bend the thumb, it will break the scar tissue which will be attaching the tendon to bone and I'll be back to where I was at Phillip Island, starting recovery all over again. Realistically there's a high chance of bending it or it swelling up on the bike, even with the splint in."

"But the plan at the moment is to go to Donington, ride and see how it goes! Thats my good news. I don't need to grip the bars anyway do I! See you all there."

Though Rea did race on at Phillip Island having sustained the injury during free practice, he crashed out early on.


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