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Injury forces Button to miss Jerez test

JENSON BUTTON pulled a muscle in his back while training and was forced to pull out of the Jerez test. The 20-year-old Englishman was working to improve his fitness when he damaged a muscle close to his spine. This meant that he had difficulty moving and the Williams team took the rather dramatic step of sending him to the famous Stoke Mandeville Hospital, near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, where he was treated by Brian Gardner, a consultant surgeon in the spinal injuries unit, who has been treating Frank Williams ever since his road accident in 1986.

The damage is not serious but Button was forced to miss the last major test before the Australian Grand Prix. As his other tests to date have been ruined by poor reliability and torrential rain, Button is going to be at a disadvantage in Melbourne as he has not done many testing miles.

Williams test driver Bruno Junqueira was in Spain, testing with the other Formula 3000 team at the Valencia circuit on Tuesday and Wednesday and as soon as he had finished he took over Button's role.

Button is expected to be back in action at Silverstone this week while Williams is expected to take a closer involvement in his training program in the future to stop such problems occurring again.

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