This off-season would have been bumpy enough for Marco Melandri, moving from the Gresini Honda MotoGP team to the factory Yamaha WSBK squad, but he’s been suffering from a “big pain with no reason,” that forced him to go for a scan on December 17th, and then have surgery on his right shoulder. Originally, even the official WSBK site posted that it was a “false alarm,” as “a scan did not reveal anything.” However, the Italian underwent a successful surgery just before Christmas. It appears that Melandri will be ready for racing when the season begins in two months’ time.
According to the Yamaha Racing, “the Italian opted for a clean-up procedure in order to reduce risk of further aggravation…there was no damage to ligaments therefore a straightforward ‘tidying’ took place and a ‘staple’ attached – that will erode naturally over time – will add extra stability.” Melandri’s doctor, Giuseppe Porcellini, recently performed surgery on Valentino Rossi’s shoulder. Melandri was restless in the hospital after the surgery, as most would be, simply tweeting on Christmas Eve, “paìnfull [sic] night but in a very good mood.. Wanna go home! :-)”
The pain was “possibly due to an old injury and in the wake of three days hard riding and testing recently,” according to Yamaha. At the original scan and doctor visit, Melandri was informed that the pain was simply because he was getting older at twenty-eight, according to Dean Adams at Superbike Planet. His emoticon-strewn Twitter feed confirmed on December 20, “Everything is going good.. just getting old….:-)))” The surgery was performed six days later.
Apparently, Melandri will be wearing a brace until about January 7th, and will not be quite 100% for the January testing, but should be “be fit [enough] and raring to go for his next appointment with the R1 in Portugal,” according to Yamaha. Things might not have felt that good to Melandri, since he tweeted on December 29th that, “No way to sleep..shoulder give me too much pain.. The recover looks quite far…But never give up…” Still, everything suggests that the 2002 250cc world champion will make his WSBK debut at the season opener on Philip Island.
Source: Yamaha Racing