The recurrence of Dani Pedrosa's shoulder problem during the MotoGP season opener at Qatar came as a blow to the Spaniard. Pedrosa had been hoping that his shoulder was fully healed, after a winter of rest for the problem. But as the race progressed under the floodlights at Losail, Pedrosa started to suffer pain in his shoulder, and weakness and numbness in his left arm, leaving the Repsol Honda rider unable to use the clutch at the end of the race, and having difficulty in getting the bike to turn as he would like.
A medical examination revealed the cause of the problem: Pedrosa has suffered stretching in his brachial plexus, the bundle of nerves located under the collarbone which control movement in the shoulder and arm. The injury was a by-product of Pedrosa's crash at Motegi, caused by a stuck throttle, in which Pedrosa broke his collarbone, stretching his brachial plexus at the same time.
According to the Spanish racing website Motocuatro.com, prior to the Jerez MotoGP race, Pedrosa underwent further medical tests to review his condition at the renowned Dexeus Institut in Barcelona, the medical center for so many Spanish MotoGP riders. Dr Xavi Mir, who examined Pedrosa, declared afterwards that Pedrosa's collarbone had healed perfectly, but the Spaniard's stretched brachial plexus is continuing to be a problem. The difficulty with injuries involving the brachial plexus was the length of time they required for recovery, Dr Mir explained, adding that this is exactly the process that Pedrosa finds himself in.
Pedrosa's recovery was proceeding as expected, Dr Mir added, describing his progress as "adequate." But further surgery on the shoulder had not been ruled out, Dr Mir said, if only for Pedrosa's peace of mind, with the long break between the Jerez and Estoril races offering the ideal time for such an intervention. Dr Mir also revealed that Pedrosa had considered skipping the Jerez MotoGP round, but had decided against it as not racing would make little difference to the rate of recovery. "Stopping is not a solution either," Dr Mir said, emphasizing that what was required most of all, was a good deal of patience. Pedrosa could expect a recurrence of the numbness and lack of strength during the latter stages of the race at Jerez, with the best scenario currently being that the pain and lack of feeling would be less than at Qatar.
Despite Pedrosa's problems, Dr Mir revealed that the former 250cc World Champion had been lucky. Pedrosa had come "very close to suffering a paralysis of the left arm," Dr Mir explained. If Pedrosa had damaged or severed his brachial plexus instead of merely stretching it, his racing career would have been over altogether.
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