Noriyuki Haga's 2009 World Superbike Championship title hopes are potentially still very much alive after the Ducati Xerox team confirmed his injuries following a crash at Donington Park aren't as serious as first feared.

While a later update at Derby Hospital revealed the originally suspected fractured vertebra was an ailment from another accident, potentially years earlier, further tests have been carried out to confirm the extent of his injuries.

Currently, Haga will only need to undergo surgery to insert a plate and screws into his forearm following a fracture to the right ulna. He will also be inspected for a pain in his shoulder, although x-rays have ruled out any serious damage.

With Haga set to return home to Italy within two days, attention is now focused on the injured forearm, which the Ducati Xerox team hope will heal in time for him to return to competition for the next World Superbike round at Brno in a month's time.

The news is particularly good for Haga's title hopes after Ben Spies reduced the deficit to 14 points following his double victory at Donington Park. He now has until July 26th to get fit in time to resume his spot on the 1198.

The Japanese rider is renowned for his ability to race on through pain, most notably last season when he shrugged off a broken collarbone to win both races at the Nurburgring just two weeks later.


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