Chris Vermeulen admits he is facing a race against time in order to be fit for the second round of the World Superbike Championship in Portugal after further examination of his injured knee revealed damage to the ligaments and muscles.
Vermeulen underwent an MRI scan in Australia following his accident during the second race of the day, the former MotoGP rider falling at high-speed on the run up to Lukey Heights and impacting the tyre wall.
Since then, Vermeulen has visited a specialist, who confirmed he has five tears of the ligaments, cartilage and muscle in the knee and may now require further medical attention.
Posting a video update on YouTube
, Vermeulen revealed it will take another week for doctors to determine whether he will need to undergo an operation, or whether it will heal on its own.
“I went to a knee specialist after my MRI scan results, which showed up about five tears of ligaments, cartilage, muscle… so there is quite a bit of damage done to my knee,” he said.
“I also have some small abrasions on the outside of my knee, so the specialist said he couldn't operate because of the risk of infection. So we have to wait for that to heal, then go and see him again.”
Turning his attentions to the second round in Portugal, which will take place on March 26-28th, Vermeulen admits he remains 'doubtful'.
“If that goes well and there isn't too much movement in my knee from the torn ligaments, then he will leave it and – fingers crossed – I'll be ok for Portimao. However, if the damage is still quite bad and not repairing well, he might want to go inside and fix it up.
“So we are still a bit doubtful for the next race. I am walking around slowly, starting to hobble almost, but the rest of my body feels fine.”
Former World Superbike runner-up Vermeulen made his return to the series at Phillip Island having joined Kawasaki over the winter. He qualified 14th and ran inside the top ten in both races before crashing in each.