Stobart Ford's Gigi Galli has said that he is 'hopeful' he will be able to recover soon following his high-speed accident on the Rallye Deutschland, which left him with a broken leg.

Galli crashed out in his Ford Focus RS WRC07 on Friday in SS5 - the 23.04 kilometre Grafschaft Veldenz 2 test, and after being airlifted to hospital with a fracture to his left femur, he required surgery.

Speaking on Sunday, after he got a surprise visit from a number of his colleagues from the World Rally Championship, he seemed in good spirits.

Indeed all his Ford colleagues, including Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala, as well as Citroen pair Dani Sordo and Marc Marti decided to turn up dressed only in their fire proof underwear, just so they could cheer him up.

"It was great to see all my team-mates in the hospital and what a surprise to see them all walk into the room in their underwear!" said Gigi, who is expected to leave hospital and return home on Wednesday.

"We have a great team spirit between all of the Ford crews and it really is just like a big family.

"The doctors tell me the operation went very well so hopefully I will recover soon and get back to action for all of my fans."

How long Gigi will be out is currently uncertain, although doctors have estimated that he will be unable to walk on his left leg for six to eight weeks and will require physiotherapy after this time.

As such he may not 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.

"It seems that Gigi will be sidelined for a while," said Stobart Group CEO Andrew Tinkler at the end the final leg. "Everyone at Stobart Motorsport wishes him a very speedy recovery. But the strength of the car during the accident and the professionalism of the event safety team really shone through."

Indeed such was the efforts made by the Grafschaft Veldenz stage medical team in aiding Gigi and his co-driver Giovanni Bernacchini following the crash, that Stage Safety commander Manfred Bl?sius was awarded the 'Abu Dhabi Spirit of the Rally Award' on Sunday for his exceptional co-ordination during the emergency.

Who will replace Gigi on the Rally New Zealand in two weeks time meanwhile has yet to be decided.


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