A shock pre-season injury has ruled Ricky Carmichael out of the entire 2004 Supercross season, ending his hopes of taking a fourth consecutive 250cc AMA SX crown.

The Floridian injured his knee yesterday (Tuesday) while training at a test track in California and was today examined by Dr. Rick Lyon, an orthopedic surgeon from Kentucky.

The result of the examination showed a torn ACL knee ligament, which will require surgery and cause Ricky to miss the entire 2003-2004 THQ World Supercross GP and AMA Supercross Series, which kicks off in 10 days at Estadio Olympico in Seville, Spain. Surgery to repair the ACL will be performed when the swelling in Carmichael's knee subsides.

"We at Clear Channel Entertainment send out our get well wishes to Ricky and Ursula, first and foremost," said Charlie Mancuso, president of Clear Channel Entertainment - Motor Sports. "Ricky's injury is tragic, and we wish him a speedy recovery. We all know how much he was looking forward to racing Chad Reed and the other superstars of supercross this season. Ricky is a true champion, and we look forward to seeing him recover fully and winning races again as soon as possible."

Honda rider Carmichael - said to be planning to ride a 450cc four-stroke in 2004 - will now turn his sights to defending his AMA Outdoor Motocross title. He should be back to full fitness when the series begins on May 16.



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