2012 Crescent Suzuki World Superbike rider John Hopkins has had part of his right ring-finger removed.
The American has been battling to heal from injuries suffered when he fell during practice for the Brno MotoGP round, in mid-August - but still came within inches of winning the 2011 British Superbike title.
However Hopper was then forced to withdraw from a planned MotoGP return as a wild-card at Sepang in October, after continued problems with the finger.
“The screws and the plates in the finger have come apart and there's just no movement in the knuckle at all, so I cannot bend the finger,” he said at Sepang. “If I get any further damage to the injury it could result in amputation and certainly don't want that!”
Unfortunately, partial amputation was to prove the only option.
Writing on his official Twitter page @JHopper21, Hopkins posted this picture with the following explanation:
“Well after 6 surgeries & Thousands of $'s spent on Rehab etc it's a shame it had to come to this...
“Good news is that it already feels better than it has for months & I'll be ready to race in Phillip Island for Rnd. 1! No motivation lost!”
He later joked: “With it being Friday the 13th I should have asked the Doctor to wear the mask and dress up like "Jason" as they chopped the finger ; ) Ha Ha”
Hopkins will be joined by Leon Camier for Crescent's first full WSBK season, which begins at Phillip Island Australia on February 26.
"Just been chatting to @JHopper21 who's feeling really positive after surgery today and looking forward to @sbk_official RD1 Phil. Island" Tweeted Crescent team manager Jack Valentine.
Hopkins joins the likes of Barry Sheene and Troy Bayliss in having part of a finger removed.