Chris Vermeulen has revealed that he will miss the next round of the World Superbike Championship due to ongoing problems with the knee injury he sustained at Phillip Island.
The Kawasaki rider had hoped to race at Portimao last time out but was forced to shelve his plans after exploratory laps on the bike in free practice made it apparent that the injury wasn't healed enough to allow him to compete.
Vermeulen has now visited a surgeon in Belgium for keyhole surgery to investigate the injury in more depth and will miss the Valencia race weekend as a result.
The Australian hopes however to be fit for round four at Assen.
“I was going to struggle to get on a bike in Valencia so the doctors decided to go in and have a look at my knee with an arthroscopy operation,” he said in a video message on his personal website. “I had it done on Friday in Belgium and the doctor was glad he had a look, as there seems to be more damage than the scans had shown.
“I have to be on crutches for a few days, put ice on the knee and keep the weight off it but the doctor thinks I should make a recovery quite quickly. Unfortunatley I will miss the race in Valencia because the operation is so close, but the doctor is confident I'll be fit for Assen.”
The Kawasaki team has yet to decide who – if anyone – will replace Vermeulen in Spain, although BSB rider Simon Andrews could be in with a shout having joined Tom Sykes for testing at Valencia last week.