Surgeon explains Kubica operation

Robert Kubica is still undergoing surgery in the Santa Corona hospital in Pietra Ligure, being overseen by Dr. Riccardo Ceccarelli, the Renault GP doctor, and renowned hand surgeon Professor Igor Rossello who is based locally.

Kubica first underwent bone reconstruction surgery before doctors focussed of tissue and nerve damage, while at the same time another surgical team worked on his leg injuries. In addition to multiple fractures to his right arm, leg and hand, initial concerns were that his right hand might have to be amputated, but doctors managed to reattach the blood supply and hope the operation will be a success. Kubica will be watched closely overnight to monitor other issues.

Doctor Prof Igor Rossello said, "We need to wait at least a week to see if his hand survives.", when asked about the likelihood of whether Kubica's hand will return to full capability.

"The nerve lesions are the ones that leave us with the most question marks over the recovery of functions. Rehabilitation will be relatively long, probably one year. He came here with multiple traumas, with several associated injuries. He won't necessarily have to undergo further surgery on the hand, but he will if needed. One year is the best provision. I think it is quite difficult now, but you never know. Drivers are always very special patients. I have a lot of motorbike patients and they heal in a much faster way - faster than normal people."

Kubica's manager Daniele Morelli says that it is too early to speculate about the recovery process: "Unfortunately the impact with the guardrail caused serious harm. He has been diagnosed with multiple fractures to his leg and right arm, especially complications related to his right hand. We shall see later if the operation was successful. The clinical picture is not easy. We expect to make the necessary assessments tonight. The surgeons are trying to restore the functionality of his right hand. We must now think about the muscle function, but Robert has a very strong temper and will succeed. The important thing is that Robert recoveries, as it has already proven to do with the incident in Canada. On that occasion it took him three months to get back on track."

Kubica's co-driver Jakub Gerber told Gazzetta dello Sport: "We were on the first four kilometres of the first special stage. I was looking at the notes and didn't notice that the car was skidding. Only when we crashed I saw Robert holding his arm, and after a few moments he lost consciousness. Robert isn't just a great driver, he is a friend. I just hope he can recover soon."

Renault team principal Eric Boullier said, "Robert is a person we love dearly: we are extremely sad and obviously shocked. We've let him do it because rallying is what he loves to do. Rallying is vital for Robert and for his sanity. Besides that, there is a reciprocal agreement. We knew the risks and so did he. We didn't want a robot or a corporate man for a driver."

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