The 2006 MotoGP world champion Nicky Hayden suffered injuries during a training mishap near his Owensboro, Kentucky home on Tuesday, December 27.
Hayden broke his left scapula and fractured two ribs while training at a private indoor flat track facility.
He was riding a motorcycle for the first time since he broke his wrist (a scaphoid fracture) during the MotoGP season finale at Valencia, Spain on November 6.
After that injury, due to a fall, Hayden underwent both X-ray and CAT scan in Valencia, and has since undergone an MRI.
At this point there are no plans for future surgery but Hayden intends to have the scapula reassessed next week in Fremont, California, at the offices of Dr. Arthur Ting. After evaluating the progress of his scapula, Hayden will use the next few weeks to determine whether he'll be sufficiently fit to take part in the first winter test session of 2012, which is scheduled the final day of January at Sepang, Malaysia.
Hayden, teammate to seven-time MotoGP titleholder Valentino Rossi, has had problems with injuries in the past--as do most MotoGP riders. "Obviously injuries are never good," he said, "but it is part of motorcycle racing.
"Just like at Valencia, it was kind of a freak accident," he said of this week's problem. "I was starting to train again, like I normally do during the winter, at a private track near my house. I came up behind another rider and he went to move out of the way. I wasn't going that fast, but he clipped my front wheel and I went down.
"I landed pretty hard on my left shoulder and that was it," Hayden confirmed. "It's disappointing, but there's nothing to do about it but heal quickly. Anyway, this doesn't change my expectations for 2012, which fortunately is just around the corner."
Hayden, 30, earned his world title while riding with the factory Repsol Honda team. He moved to Ducati in 2009. Until this year he was teammate to Casey Stoner, who joined the Honda factory team and immediately won the world championship. The most recent Ducati MotoGP entry has been notable for its riding difficulty.
Nicky Hayden has two brothers, Tommy and Roger Lee, who are both active in the sport. He uses the No. 69 favored by his father, also a racer, who has stated many times he selected that number because "it can still be read when I end up upside down in the dirt."
By Anne Proffit