Regis Laconi continues to make progress in his recovery from the heavy Friday practice session crash that left him hospitalised with broken cervical vertebrae and on the critical list.

The French rider, who crashed on his out lap in the opening session of the weekend's World Superbike meeting at Kyalami, remains in intensive care at Johannesburg's Sunninghill Hospital, but has improved sufficiently for doctors to consider pressing on with the operation to stabilise his neck injury.

Despite having been advised to delay the procedure for several days, Laconi's condition has been upgraded enough to bring him out of the medically-induced coma into which he was placed on arrival at the hospital and to schedule the operation to insert metal plates to stabilise the vertebrae for Tuesday [19 May].

There was further good news for friends and family as Laconi showed 'signs of autonomous movement' in both his upper and lower limbs on being brought out of the coma, supporting the results of Saturday's CT scan, which suggested that there had been minimal nerve damage in the accident.

The French veteran will have to remain in Sunninghill for at least two weeks while doctors assess his recovery, but could be transferred to Paris after that in order to complete his rehabilitation closer to home.

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