Lorenzo Returns To Barcelona After Finger Surgery, But May Miss Final Round At Valencia

Jorge Lorenzo has flown home to Barcelona, to continue the recovery process after surgery to fix the finger he injured at Phillip Island, which ruled him out of both the Australian Grand Prix and this weekend's Malaysian round of MotoGP at Sepang. Lorenzo injured both the middle and ring fingers in the crash, the ring finger most severely. Lorenzo's middle finger required a skin graft, but his ring finger required a more complicated procedure, to reattach the extensor tendon (responsible for stretching the finger out straight) to the fingertip bone, half of which Lorenzo lost in the crash. The pace of Lorenzo's recovery will determine whether the Spaniard will race at Valencia or not.

Below is the press release from Yamaha, detailing the surgery and in which Jorge Lorenzo congratulates Casey Stoner on winning the 2011 MotoGP championship.

Jorge Lorenzo Surgery Update

Following successful plastic surgery in Australia, Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo has now flown home to Barcelona for a period of recovery. As already confirmed the Mallorcan rider will miss this weekend's Grand Prix of Malaysia. A decision on his participation in the final race of the season at Valencia will be made within the next two weeks dependent on the progress of his recovery.

"Casey has had an incredible season with very few mistakes," commented Jorge Lorenzo. "He has always been very strong and consistent so it has been very difficult to beat him. Congratulations to him, he has been the best this year and deserves his second title, a huge achievement as it comes with a different manufacturer. I would have liked to fight until the end, maybe until Valencia but the accident on Sunday has made it impossible. I am very proud of my team for all the hard work they have put in to take second in the Championship. Now we have to think about next year and work as hard as possible to win again. After the crash I was very worried that I would not have full feeling in my finger again. After the excellent treatment I received I have been assured I will have complete feeling in nerves and tendons. This gives me good confidence; I can't wait to get back on my M1 again!"

Please find below the medical report following the successful operation:

Surgeon: John Crock - MB.BS (Melbourne). Dip. Anat. MD. FRACS

Hospital: Knox Private Hospital, Wantirna (Vic)

Operative Diagnosis: Left hand ring and middle finger injuries

Summary of operation: Debride and reconstruct left ring and middle fingers

Duration of operation: 80mins

Operation details:

Middle finger wound: skin loss only, covered with SSG taken from the hypothenar eminence.

Ring finger wound: longitudinal dorsal grinding injury with loss of tip. (…) Distal half of the distal phalanx missing. (…) The extensor tendon was identified and reattached. (…)

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Could we see someone riding Lorenzo's M1 in the final two rounds? If only Melandri were still contracted by Yamaha we could see him give it a go around the track. Maybe someone from WorldSBK or Hopkins (I personally wish)? I am sure that Yamaha want their bikes going around the track as they didn't have either factory bikes in the race at PI.

Give Lorenzo's bike to Colin!
The old bastard would have two more shots at his first/last/only GP win.
Melandri to fill in at T3.

Just read that Melandri's testing the BMW today.

I would like to see Colin have another chance..but he's moving on after this season. So Yamaha should have a new prospect on board. Who could that be?

As I understand it, they don't NEED to have a rider on the bike at Sepang, so they are probably more likely to just save their money, and park it.

Not sure about Valencia though - can they skip two in a row?

What is the prognosis for nerve damage to that fingertip? From the pictures I've seen, it would require some serious surgical wizardry to repair the multitude of nerve endings that appear to be damaged, or totally gone.

It would suck for Jorge to lose full sensation in one of his digits for the rest of his life. Personally, I think I would rather have a broken kneecap, at least it would heal.

I'd think at worst he'll lose feeling in the last phalanx of the ring finger. Not ideal, but not such a problem for operating a bike. Either of the first two fingers on the right hand would be disasterous.

I lost feeling in a big toe for 15 years after dropping a bench vice (+bench...) on it. Eventually it came back...

Lucky you weren't wearing steel-toe-cap danger boots! Could have lost the whole foot!

As long as the piece has good blood supply the nerves can generally be lined up and recover.
I had a significant injury to the flexor tendon of LH index finger after a large knife and my hand had a disagreement, and it recovered quite well - massive amount of microsurgery was required and then a big long 'Zorro' (Z-shaped scar along my finger) which means I have a bit of trouble getting it absolutely flat due to resultant scarring, but apart from that it's all good.
That was 20 years ago and technology in medicine is even better now, so I am sure Jorge's hand will be fine.
He has been a worthy champ and I wish him well.
And he's handing over the mantle to someone who is absolutely at the top of his game at the minute.
Bring on 2012 and the thousands.......

"Surgeon: John Crock"

You can't make that kinda stuff up!

"Middle finger wound: skin loss only, covered with SSG taken from the hypothenar eminence.

Ring finger wound: longitudinal dorsal grinding injury with loss of tip. (…) Distal half of the distal phalanx missing. (…) The extensor tendon was identified and reattached. (…)"

Can someone translate this? Will he have a stub that works or will he have his fingernail, etc, meaning the whole finger working again.

Reminiscent of Troy's crash (the suck).

They took skin off his palm to patch up his middle finger.

The ring finger had been ground away from the back and the outer half of the last joint was gone. Since the tendon that normally straightens the finger was originally attached to the bit of bone that was missing, Doc Crock re-attached it to the end of what was left.

So I'd guess the nail is long gone and that his finger now ends roughly where the nail used to start. He'll be able to move it normally, although he may have some problems holding things delicately if the nerve is damaged, since he'll have no pressure feed-back.

Phalanx smacks of ancient Spartan association. Lost a tip and thats all, in his mind. The Doctors say its good, he's good. Lorenzo is clearly one of,if not the toughest racer of the modern era. Understandably,he may not bother with the remaining 2 races,but I fully expect him to be contesting Valencia as he does himself.
Sepang replacement is the question. No doubt someone will be called up. Who ?
Colin makes the most sense and will relish the call, contracts etc allowing.
Lin Jarvis is no doubt furiously juggling options right now for Sepang.

I hope for Jorge's sake that he doesn't try to return at Valencia. I've not come across a tendon reconstruction post operative protocol that would allow a return to sport that quickly. He could possibly use a dynamic splint that automatically returns his distal interphalangeal joint to the straight position. But it would seem to be an unnecessary risk. Missing the test after the race would be the biggest disappointment I guess.

Ophthalmologist Professor Gerard Crock (John Crock's father), pioneered this discipline in Australia, when he taught Mr Bernard O'Brien the skills required to operate using a specially designed microscope to magnify tiny structures. This enterprising plastic surgeon then developed these skills into a whole realm of surgery that is now mainstream for any trained Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon in the Western world. In fact many would say that Melbourne Australia was the birthplace of modern microsurgery.

I cut the end off my second finger, right hand at the outer joint completely with a circular saw; they couldn't re-attach the extensor tendon and it doesn't come straight (there's no joint either, it sort fof wobbles around!) That finger is about 6mm shorter now than its opposite number, but after a while it was pretty much ok - nerves took a long time to get their act together properly and gave weird sensations for a number of years. It hurts like all get-out for quite a while - not just weeks!

Lorenzo is one tough mother and he'll be fine next year, but he'd be seriously stressed to ride at Valencia - tests maybe, but not the whole race weekend.

One thing you can never accuse him of is being soft. He has amazed me over the years. I thought I heard there was no nerve damage also. Don't remember where though. That finger looked nasty.

Just seeing him get back on and ride after some of his hair-raising crashes in his rookie MotoGP year, I thought "he is either made of titanium or is too dumb to feel pain/fear" and I have to say after watching him for a few years that I do not consider him dumb at all.