Marco Melandri will require an operation to the meniscus on his right leg after sustaining an injury in a charity football match, but is expected to be fully fit in time for the start of the 2017 pre-season tests in January.

The Italian, who completed his final 2016 winter tests with Aruba.it Racing Ducati last week at Jerez, picked up the injury while walking on the football pitch when he stumbled and fell on his right leg.

Melandri was playing in a charity football match in memory of former 125cc and 250cc Grand Prix race winner Doriano Romboni, who died on 30th November 2013 in a crash during the second running of 'Sic day' which is a race in honour of Marco Simoncelli.

The 34-year-old is set to undergo an operation on Wednesday 30th November and is expected to be fully fit for the January winter tests in preparation for the 2017 season.

Melandri is set to make his World Superbike comeback in 2017 with the factory Ducati squad alongside Chaz Davies after replacing BSB-bound Davide Giugliano. The former 250cc world champion last competed in World Superbike for Aprilia in 2014 on his way to fourth in the riders' standings having claimed six race wins that year.

Melandri joins former MotoGP world champion Nicky Hayden on the sidelines after the Ten Kate Honda rider required an operation on an injured knee suffered in a flat-track accident.

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