The crash which saw Marco Simoncelli collide with Dani Pedrosa, earning Simoncelli a ride-through penalty and Pedrosa a fractured collarbone, has added another chapter to Pedrosa's long litany of injuries. Pedrosa fractured his right collarbone in the crash, just seven months after he broke his left collarbone in a crash at Motegi, and a month after surgery to remove the plate inserted after Motegi.
The aftermath of that Motegi crash is having an impact on the treatment of Pedrosa's broken collarbone at Le Mans. When Pedrosa returned to racing after Motegi, he suffered symptoms of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, including numbness and a lack of strength in his left arm while racing. Fortunately for the Spaniard, after extensive examination, it was found that the problem was being caused not by nerve damage - which could have been career-ending - but by the plate somehow constricting the blood flow to his left arm caused by the particular position of his arm when racing a motorcycle. After Jerez, Pedrosa had the plate removed, and those symptoms disappeared, though the surgery to remove the plate left Pedrosa with muscle cramp and post-operative pain.
Pedrosa now also faces a decision on surgery to repair his right collarbone. Fortunately for the Spaniard, the break is a clean one, and the prognosis is good for Pedrosa. However, even in the most optimistic scenario, Pedrosa's shoulder would require immobilization for 2-3 weeks for the bone to start to heal. Racing a MotoGP machine at the Catalunya Grand Prix in under 3 weeks' time is probably rather optimistic, and with the Silverstone race just a week later, the choice would appear to be between being fit and skipping two races.
Alternatively, Pedrosa could have the collarbone plated, which would allow him to return to racing more quickly. However, given his experiences with the plate on his left collarbone, he is almost certainly reluctant to have a plate fitted unless absolutely necessary. At Estoril, Pedrosa admitted that he had feared that the problems he had suffered as a result of the plate would prove career-ending, and that he would never be able to race again. That had placed an enormous emotional strain on the Spaniard, he admitted. As a consequence, Pedrosa's reluctance to opt for surgery is understandable. A decision on the best course of optino will be made later this week.
Pedrosa has a very long history of injury, which is nicely summed up in the graphic on the website of the Spanish sports daily Marca. Though the text is in Spanish, just looking at the list of dates and the location of the arrows tells you a good deal about Pedrosa's injury history.
Below is the press release On Pedrosa's situation from the Repsol Honda team:
Dani Pedrosa to decide next steps in coming days
Immediately following yesterday's race, Dani Pedrosa returned to Barcelona with the X-ray scans from the Le Mans circuit medical centre. He visited his doctors at Teknon Medical Centre and further medical tests confirmed a clean break of the right collarbone.
Pedrosa spent the night in the hospital, immobilised with a compressive dressing, and will decide in the next few days if he will undergo surgery to repair the fracture with a new plate or let the bone heal itself without intervention. In either case, his presence in the Grand Prix of Catalunya, to be held on June 5th, is uncertain.