Nicky Hayden will return to MotoGP action during the second of Ducati's home Italian events at Misano this weekend.

The American has been side-lined since suffering two hand fractures in a qualifying fall at Indianapolis on August 18, during which he was also knocked briefly unconscious.

Still far from fully fit, Hayden is nevertheless looking forward to getting back on track.

"I can't wait to get back on the track, but I know that it won't be easy this weekend," said Hayden, who has slipped to ninth in the championship during his two-race absence.

"My hand is improving and one of the two fractures is healing quickly, while the other metacarpal still has a pretty good fracture line.

"I've been able to keep up with my cardio training, and of course I've been doing the normal rehab, including a visit to Dr Ting in California.

"Braking on these MotoGP bikes puts a lot of stress on the right hand, particularly on a clockwise circuit like Misano.

"Nevertheless, racing at one of Ducati's home tracks is something that I enjoy, and I certainly hope to be able to do the race.

"We've got a couple of things stacked against us, but we'll see if we can put up a solid result and kick off a new positive stretch at Misano."

Hayden has taken a best race finish of sixth, four times this year.