Speculation is rampant that Robert Kubica's racing career could be over after a very hard crash suffered this weekend during the Ronde di Andora rally. Surgeons managed to restore blood flow to his injured right hand, but caution that amputation could still be possible.

Even if Kubica manages to keep his hand, nerve and muscle damage appears to be severe--so severe he might never race again, according to some sources. Former Renault F1 team boss Flavio Briatore has a different take, however. Though no medical doctor, he pronounced Kubica would be back behind the wheel in F1 within "five or six months" after a visit with the driver in hospital. Lotus-Renault team boss Eric Boullier also says Kubica is out for months at least, but he expects the Polish driver's "recovery will be quicker than one year."

Elite athletes do tend to recover better than the average citizen, and make no mistake--top-level racing drivers are elite athletes.

In an official statement released today by Lotus-Renault GP, the team says Kubica is in "much better" condition today, and able to move his fingers. That may indicate the nerve damage isn't as severe as first thought, but regaining the amount of movement and strength necessary to drive at the top level of any series could be another story.

Kubica could face further surgeries for this shoulder and elbow fractures over the next few days. Doctors will put Kubica under medication to induce sleep for at least the next 24 hours to help aid his recovery, however, so the secondary surgeries will wait.

Kubica's seat at Lotus-Renault GP is now up for grabs, but the driver tapped to take his place will depend on the forecast for his recovery. Should it be a shorter-term window, Boullier says reserve drivers Bruno Senna or Romain Grosjean could get the seat. If longer-term, the team "may have to consider different options."

We wish Kubica a speedy and complete recovery, and hope to see him back on track--and on the rally circuit--as soon as possible.

[Lotus-Renault GP, GMM, Autosport, RivieraRally, YouTube]