Leon Haslam has revealed he is yet to receive full movement and power back in his knee following his heavy accident during the Nurburgring round of the World Superbike Championship.
A potentially decisive blow to his already very slim title hopes, while Haslam coped well with the fresh injuries in Germany with a run to the podium – ahead of key rival Max Biaggi -, he has been undergoing physiotherapy since then.
Admitting to not being fully fit ahead of this weekend's event at Imola, Haslam says he will need to evaluate his condition, which also includes an injured hand, after the first full day of action on Friday before deciding how to proceed.
“Since the last round at the Nurburgring, I have been having a lot of physiotherapy on my knee," the Suzuki Alstare rider said. "The problem is that ligaments take quite a long time to mend properly and because of that my knee is not up to full strength yet. I haven't got full movement and all the power back yet, but I don't think it's going to affect me too much once I am on the bike. We'll see how it goes in practice, but we may decide to put on some strapping and give it some support.
“I may also strap up the hand a bit as it is OK in certain directions but not so good in some others. Once again, we'll se how it behaves during practice on Friday.
A return to the Imola circuit for Haslam following the mid-season test there, while it now seems unlikely he will overhaul Biaggi for the title with four races remaining, he is hopeful of posting good results.
“We tested here at Imola earlier in the year and the first day was pretty good. The second wasn't as good because I had a couple of crashes. We tried some tyres there, so it'll be interesting to see what tyres are brought this weekend.
“Imola is very technical track and there is a lot to it. It's what I call 'an old school' track and once you've got it right, you know you've got it right. I think it has many different characteristics and parts of it will suit some bikes and not others, but all bikes will be good there in some areas.
“Because of the points' advantage Max now has, all I can do is to go all-out in both races and hope he makes some mistakes, and that's what I'm going to do.”