After sustaining cartilage and ligament damage in his knee during a high-speed crash at the opening round of World Superbike at Phillip Island, Chris Vermeulen had hoped to make a quick return to the track.
But the Paul Bird World Superbike Kawasaki rider’s injuries were more serious than he initially thought, and will prevent him from racing at the upcoming Valencia round.
The Australian underwent keyhole surgery Thursday in Belgium by doctors recommended from former Motocross World Champions Joel Smets and Stefan Everts. The doctors told Vermeulen he’d have to miss out on Round 3 in Valencia.
"There seemed to be a lot more damage in my knee than the scan showed," Vermeulen said on his YouTube channel. "I’ve got to be on crutches for few days and sit around which I’m sick of doing. I should make a recovery quite quick…Unfortunately I have to miss the race in Valencia because of the operation being so close. But the doctor was quite confident I’ll be fit for Assen which is basically in three weeks time."
The former MotoGP rider attempted to race in Round 2 in Portimao, but after one lap he returned to the pits, retiring from the race. Due to his injuries, he was unable to put any weight on the pegs of his Kawasaki ZX-10R.
Major surgery may still be required for Vermeulen’s injuries, but the 27 year old is hoping everything heals naturally. But if he does undergo major surgery, he’s going to try holding off until the end of the 2010 WSBK season.
In line to rider replace Vermeulen on the PB Kawasaki is British Superbike star Simon Andrews.