Ducati has announced the return of Casey Stoner to MotoGP racing, with the Portuguese GP only days away from its first practice session. Stoner’s return is right on schedule, despite some speculation that the Australian racer might never race again after his prolonged hiatus from two-wheeled jousting.
After a bevy of doctors and examinations, Stoner’s ailment still seems to be allusive. Test results have excluded pathological anomalies of cardiovascular, respiratory, and neurological causes. The exams and inspections also failed to show the presence of any kind of virus or infection.
However, a medical report made by Prof. Silderberg and Dr Coleman did reveal low blood pressure levels and a deficiency of sodium. The doctors seem to believe that these irregularities may be linked to Stoner’s problems, and lead to his chronic fatigue.
Conclusively, the doctors all agree that overtraining was the most common factor that showed up during the tests, and that the after-effects of injuries and surgeries over the last few years were the cause of the physical weakness and exhaustion that the Australian began to suffer a few months ago.
While that diagnosis certainly seems plausible, the aura of speculation that has surrounded Stoner on this issue still seems to suggest that there is a backstory to this drama that we may never fully know about.
Speaking about his return, Casey Stoner made the following statement:
“I’m definitely looking forward to the race weekend. Having three races off is the biggest period away from racing in my life. It was very difficult to accept the advice of the doctors to stop racing. In the past I have raced even when injured, like in the last few races of the 2008 season when my wrist was broken, but this time it was really not possible and of course I felt very sorry for the team. Now I’m looking forward to getting back together with the team and everyone and I hope I’ll be able to be more competitive than I was in the past, but we will have to wait and see. The doctors have put me on some salt tablets to increase my sodium levels but we will have to see if it helps. We will understand more during the weekend. Of course it’s going to be difficult: at first we won’t know if it will work because I’ve been off the bike so long that in any case my muscles will take some time to get race fit again. But, as I said, I’m looking forward to getting back and to starting work on the bike, looking towards the future.”
Nowhere in that statement did we see an apology.