Just one week after reigning AMA Supercross champion Ricky Carmichael was ruled out of the entire 2004 SX season with injury, RC's main rival - and reigning World SX GP champion - Chad Reed is now facing surgery himself.
Reed was tipped to take the prestigious AMA crown following Carmichael's withdraw, but Yamaha have now announced that the Australia 'injured his shoulder in an off the track accident this past weekend'.
Chad has since been diagnosed with a dislocated shoulder and is scheduled for orthoscopic surgery early this week, but will miss both season opening World SX GP races in Europe. The first event of which takes place this weekend in Seville, Spain.
Reed's loss will be a massive blow for the SX GP series, which had signed both Carmichael and Reed for the 2004 season. With Reed missing the two European rounds, he will not be eligible to defend his crown, even though he is due to compete in the remaining American based events which constitute the AMA SX series.
The 2003 AMA runner-up hopes to return to action at Anaheim, for the opening round of the US series, on January 3, 2004.