Chris Vermeulen says it is still his plan to return to World Superbike action at Sepang in the New Year after revealing he is now beginning to walk unaided five months after knee surgery.

Vermeulen has embarked on a steady road to recovery since going under the knife, the Australian being informed at the time of the surgery that it would take around five months for him to be mobile without the use of crutches.

So far, things have gone as planned for the former WSBK runner-up and MotoGP race winner, Vermeulen saying he is walking on the knee for parts of the day.

Speaking in a video blog on his personal website, Vermeulen showed he is still undergoing a strict training regime of swimming and cycling ahead of a proposed comeback in January when Kawasaki begins testing at Sepang.

"I'm back in Australia to finish my training and rehab on my knee, before our testing schedule begins in Malaysia" he said. "It's five months since I had surgery on my knee and it was five months that doctors said I would be able to walk. I am just getting off one crutch.

"Part of the day I am walking around quite stable. The knee gets a bit painful after a while, but that's understandable, so I've been doing quite a lot of exercise to build the strength in my leg."

Vermeulen, whose return to WSBK with Kawasaki in 2010 was effectively scuppered at the opening round when he suffered his knee injury in a crash at Phillip Island, is yet to ride the new Kawasaki ZX-10R. He will be one-third of a three-man team in 2011 alongside Tom Sykes and Joan Lascorz.

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