Castrol Honda has confirmed Jonathan Rea will miss at least one further round of the 2011 World Superbike Championship after doctors' discovered his wrist is more badly damaged than initially feared.
Though Rea alluded to a lengthy spell on the sidelines in an update on his Twitter
account, his team have confirmed the Northern Irishman has suffered a fracture to the radius, plus damage to the scapholunate ligament in his wrist.
A devastating blow for the Assen race winner, though Rea had hoped to be back for the Brno round of the series in three weeks, it is likely he will also miss that event.
“I was pretty upset when I got the news after the surgery because it means a longer rehab than we'd thought,” said Rea, who visited orthopaedic hand surgeon Mike Hayton in Manchester. “It's difficult, of course, and I'm devastated, but I've got a great team around me so I know I'll get all the support I need to come back strong.
“As I said before, I want to be 100 per cent when I get back on the bike so, at the moment, I'm not going to put a definitive timescale on that. I'll just concentrate on getting back to fitness as fast and as completely as I can.”
A massive disappointment for Castrol Honda team manager Ronald ten Kate, he says the team will now seek a replacement for Brno to join Ruben Xaus.
“Well, without doubt, this was not the news we wanted to hear. We had all hoped that Jonathan's injury was quite straightforward and easy to heal. Now it seems it is a bit more complicated and will take longer to fix. The important thing is that he takes the time needed to fix it properly because there are still quite some circuits left on the calendar where we know that Jonathan and the bike work very well together.
“Of course, we have to begin thinking about another rider on the bike while Jonathan is away, but we also need to concentrate on Aragon this weekend and getting the best possible setting for Ruben to compete to his full potential.
With Rea expected to miss the Brno round of the World Superbike Championship on July 10th, the following event is his home round of Silverstone on July 31st.