MARCH 30, 2005
Is tennis really that dangerous?
Juan Pablo Montoya is out of the Bahrain Grand Prix this weekend and may be out for a few more races this year, at least according to our sources. Montoya is reported to have been playing tennis on Saturday last week when he slipped and fell, sustaining a fracture to his left shoulderblade. This is very painful and means that the victim is likely to be out of action for some time although the team is saying that the Colombian could be back in action at Imola in three weeks.
It is possible that the damage can be repaired in a month but it is also possible that Montoya may not be ready for the San Marino GP. Montoya will be replaced by McLaren's test driver Pedro de la Rosa while Alexander Wurz will take over the third car during Friday's two practice sessions. The injury means that any realistic hope that Montoya may have had for the World Championship is over although that is not likely to be something that the team is going to admit to.
The big question is how Montoya managed to injure himself so badly while playing a nice gentle game like tennis. Such injuries do occur regularly in sports such as rugby, skiing and motocross but only when the body is driven into the ground with very considerable force. Montoya, of course, is banned from participation in such activities because of his F1 contract but he must be a demon tennis player to have done such damage to himself!
Perhaps McLaren will have to ban its drivers from playing tennis in the future.
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