The Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Rally Team has confirmed that Gigi Galli is 'recovering well' following surgery last night on his left leg.

Galli crashed out heavily on day 1 of the Rallye Deutschland in SS5, the 23.04 kilometre Grafschaft Veldenz 2 test.

A statement from the outfit read:

"Gigi Galli underwent successful surgery on Friday night to a fractured left femur he injured during a high-speed accident on day 1 of ADAC Rallye Deutschland.

"The Italian is recovering well and is expected be released from hospital on Wednesday.

"Doctors' have estimated that he will be unable to walk on the leg for six to eight weeks and will require physiotherapy after this time."

Galli is thus unlikely to compete again this season, although there is perhaps a slight outside chance he could return for the Wales Rally GB, as that doesn't run until December 5-7.

Who will replace the Italian on the Rally New Zealand in two weeks time meanwhile is currently uncertain, although Francois Duval is probably the obvious choice as Henning Solberg is already committed to making another 'guest' appearance under the Munchi's banner.

Originally the Stobart team had planned to nominate Galli and Matthew Wilson to score manufacturers' points in Auckland, but Ford will now need to sort a 'sub' for the #7 car.

Asked about Gigi at the end of the second day, Ford/M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson noted that it is far too early to say how long he will be out.

"We are glad that Gigi's operation last night went well. He has had three pins put into his left leg. My wife has already been to the hospital to visit him. He is smiling and seems to be happy, but of course, he will be out for a long time - the next three to four events, if not for the whole season," Wilson Senior summed-up.

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