For the first time in 18 years, the opening round of the AMA Supercross Series got underway without one now-prominent figure in AMA motocross on the start line, or even in attendance for that matter. When the gate dropped at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, last Saturday night, Tim Ferry watched James Stewart and Ryan Dungey battle it out on live TV from his home in Florida with a walking boot/cast on his foot.Last year at the Daytona Supercross, Ferry, a former 125 Supercross and Motocross des Nations Champion, injured his heel. Although he came back to compete in the outdoor Nationals, Ferry hasn't been the same since, no thanks to the heel that just won't heal."I'm still having problems with my foot," Ferry said yesterday afternoon. "My heel never completely healed all the way, so I'm probably looking at another month hopefully - in a walking boot - and then I should be able to do some sort of rehab."The injury has also prevented the 34-year-old Ferry from actively looking for a new job/ride for the 2010 season, which many figured would see him go to Europe and compete in the Grand Prix Championship, but that's not happening."I've been kind of dealing with my heel the whole off-season. I broke it at Daytona, had surgery, and it has never felt quite right. In October, I had another surgery to get all the screws and stuff out, but that's when they found out it wasn't healed all the way and was still bothering me. They did a bone graft and put a few more screws back in to hold it in place, and I've kind of been waiting for it to heal since then."You thought it would've been kind of a simple injury, but it turned out to be kind of a pain. It's a lot of bone and a lot of time, not being able to ride and not doing what you're used to, that's kind of been the hardest thing."Unable to predict when he'll be able to ride again, Ferry won't make any commitments for the new year."I didn't do any contracts with anybody," he said. "I had quite a few people interested that I talked to, but there is no way that I could really to commit one-hundred percent. I basically had to let [those opportunities] go by. My goal right now is to try to get back to the outdoors. I'd like to put something together for that if I'm one-hundred percent. Until I get healed up, I'm not going to do anything."There was talk about Ferry perhaps going to Europe to ride the GPs, but Ferry never really considered it, at least not now."I never really approached it and nobody ever even talked to me about [racing the GPs]. I had always wanted to do something over there, just out of curiosity and since I like the outdoor Nationals and that. But I actually never talked to any teams; I never contacted any teams, so I think it was more of just a rumor. I think at my age, people tend to think, 'ah he's going to Europe now or something.'"Ferry says that once he's is ready to ride again, it will still take some time to get back up to speed and into racing-condition again."To be realistic, to go out and perform well, I'd say I'd need two or three months to prepare. If I'm healed up and stuff, I can get out there and race, but to do it where I had been doing it before I broke my heel - I've lost so much, just not being able to exercise and do a lot of things and ride. I haven't ridden all that much in the past 10 months. I'd need two to three months to get back in shape and make sure that I'm strong."Even if he does heel up soon, there's no guarantee he'll find a ride, which are tough to find these days."The way the economy is right now, I don't know if there are any rides out there now. Maybe there is, though, a bunch of guys keep crashing out, that's pretty typical, but at this point, I'm not even considering any options until I can get back on a motorcycle one-hundred percent."Ferry said that he watched Anaheim I from home."Yeah, I watched it. I was pretty excited to watch it live. It was kind of neat not to have the pressure of being out there and all butterflies and all that that goes along with it, but as much as I was enjoying watching it, I was missing it as well."So what did the Supercross veteran think of the race?"It was cool. It was a strange race. It's not what I really expected to see happen. Dungey rode awesome, James is, you know, had his moments, and the Kawie guys looked like they struggled. I think the season can shape up to be a pretty good one. Dungey's definitely consistent. He's always been pretty decent here lately in the last year, and he was steady in the main event. I think it's a little early yet to, in my opinion, say he's capable of running with Stewart every weekend; heck, that was his first real race on a 450 - he had one before - but that was impressive. That was cool.Ferry said he would've attended the race if it wasn't for his injury."I wanted to go out [to Anaheim]. It felt kind of weird not going. Until I get out of this walking boot and start to get around, I want to get out to one of these rounds here pretty soon. But the live TV was awesome. I'm bummed because this weekend isn't going to be live. I can see where live TV will draw a lot of fans. Because me, I'm a fan, and I want to know what's going on, I can't wait until Sunday afternoon. I'll know the outcome before it airs. I can't wait like some people and avoid the news until the race is aired the next day, I can't do that, that's not my personality. I'll go to sleep and say I'll find out in the morning, but I'll wind up staying up till two in the morning. I guess once it's in your blood its there for good."

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Kit Palmer | Off-Road Editor

Kit Palmer started his career at Cycle News in 1984 and he’s been testing dirt and streetbikes every since – plus covering any event that uses some form of a knobby tire. He’s also our resident motorcycle mileage man with a commute of 120 miles a day.