By Christian Tiburtius
An exclusive interview with Pata Honda World Superbike star Leon Haslam, currently recovering from fractures to both the tibia and fibula in his lower left leg at Assen.
The Briton gives the latest on his condition and target return date, whilst also reflecting on his past WSBK experiences with Stiggy Honda, Suzuki and BMW...
The first question has to be how are you?
It's really great to be home after the recent manic days of breaking the leg on Friday, going to two hospitals and then having surgery on Sunday. I'm feeling a little more positive now with the operation having gone better than expected and I'm now concentrating on getting the swelling down so that I can start on the rehabilitation of the soft tissue and getting some movement in the ankle.
Didn't you make a return in record pace after a leg break in Australia?
Yes, I broke the leg on the Tuesday and I was riding on the Friday. It was a difficult break and a couple of screws through the break allowed me to deal with the trauma and ride that weekend.
It was tough, the amount of painkillers I had to run with was huge and I couldn't put any weight on the right leg. Luckily it was my right leg though and I don't really use the rear brake so I was only really missing the anchor point on the bike. The track also helped because it's a left handed circuit.
With this being my left leg though, it's more serious because I need it for shifting gear and a number of other things
On this break I've had a proper job done and had a bar inserted through the centre of the tibia, which is obviously a pretty major operation. With the bar inserted in the bone I can more-or-less walk on it straight away.
The really disappointing thing was that it happened at Assen, a race I was looking forward to, and as Johnny [Rea] showed, one where we could do well. That's the worst part of this injury.
Are you saying you can walk on it now?
With the bone I can, but pain-wise I can't. The bone is still broken. The 10mm bar goes from my knee to my ankle and that supplies the strength and I can walk on the leg without damaging or stressing the bone.
I've got one of the biggest bars available in there with three screws holding it at the knee and two at the ankle joint. They drill the centre of the tibia out slightly smaller than the bar and then hammer it in.