Chris Vermeulen says he is confident he will be back riding a Kawasaki in January to begin testing for the 2011 World Superbike season following several months out through injury.
Vermeulen has not ridden a bike since the Brno round of the series back in July, the Australian curtailing his season early having never fully recovered from a knee injury sustained at the Phillip Island opener.
Undergoing major surgery on his knee in that time to repair the ligaments that were damaged in the high-speed smash, Vermeulen remains on crutches but is making good progress according to doctors.
“I've had a ten week check-up since my operation in Barcelona and they are really happy and surprised with how my knee looks,” he said in a personal video posted to YouTube
. “It was a major surgery. I got a new piece of meniscus on the lateral side of my knee where it was very badly damaged and I also got a new ligament.
“It was a very big job and a complete recovery is around nine to twelve months before my body to accept the new parts. But after ten weeks I have over 90 degrees bend in my knee and I'm working hard with my physio doing 20 minutes of work on the knee every hour that I am awake. In three or four weeks time I might be able to throw the crutches away.”
With Tom Sykes and Katsuaki Fujiwara leading testing for the new ZX-10R, Vermeulen is looking forward to getting out on the new bike, the former MotoGP race winner eyeing the tests in January as his opportunity to return.
“With the rate of my recovery, I will definitely be able to ride the bike at the end of December or January, which fits in great with Kawasaki's testing. At the moment we plant to start our new year test early in January. The doctors say I won't do any more damage to my knee when I'm on the bike.”