After filling in for countryman Josh Brookes at the HM Plant Honda BSB team, Karl Muggeridge will return to World Superbike action - on an Alstare Suzuki no less - in place of Max Neukirchner.

Neukirchner will miss his home event after fracturing vertebrae during a testing accident at Imola in mid-July - and a recent check-up revealed the need for further surgery.

"The diagnosis of the MRT checkup was a shock at first and not easy to digest," admitted Max, who fractured his leg earlier in the year Monza. "After intensive consultation we arrived at the conclusion that the surgical procedure is the best and only solution.

"The surgery took about 90 minutes and proceeded perfectly. Afterwards I'm really glad that I have taken this step. Nevertheless, the most important thing is that the procedure has not delayed the healing process.

"The rehabilitation will have my full attention during the next weeks in order being able to do one race or two this year. The progress is unmistakable. I can intensify the training from day to day. I would like to give my special thanks to the hospital Chemnitz and the attending doctors."

With Neukirchner sidelined, team manager Francis Batta has decided to give Muggeridge a 'no-pressure' ride on the factory-backed GSX-R1000 K9 during next weekend's German round.

It will be the first time that Muggeridge has ridden leading WSBK machinery since leaving Ten Kate Honda at the end of 2006.

Muggeridge began the season with Celani Suzuki, but suffered vertebrae damage of his own during the US round at Miller Motorsports Park.

The Australian finished fourth, seventh and sixth for HM Plant Honda at the Brands Hatch triple header and is hoping for a podium in this Monday's Cadwell Park round, after which the banned Brookes is scheduled to return.