Casey Stoner will fly home to Australia and undergo surgery on the ankle he injured on Saturday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, knocking the defending World Champion out of this year's championship chase. The Repsol Honda rider said today in a press conference that he hopes to return to action ".... one or two races before Phillip Island, but until we've had the surgery we won't know."
Stoner's medical advisors in Australia told the 27-year-old that surgery was necessary after viewing his X-rays and MRIs.
Stoner turned in a gutsy ride on Sunday in the Red Bull Indy Grand Prix, finishing fourth on the ankle he'd injured just 24 hours prior. He then flew to Brno intending to race this weekend in the Czech Republic Grand Prix before getting word from his doctors that surgery was needed.
Stoner announced at the French Grand Prix earlier in the season that this would be his final year of competing in series.
At today's press conference, Stoner said: "I can't wait for a fairy tale ending. This could happen next year if I stayed."
The following is from a Repsol Honda press release...
"I'm hugely disappointed for my team and all the guys around me," Stoner said. "We've been waiting since Indianapolis for my doctor in Australia to receive the discs of the MRI scan and X-rays to fully understand the situation. The doctors in America were fantastic, but I needed a specialist to study them and give me his report and explain exactly what's gone wrong. We were hoping that once they had seen the scans that it wouldn't be as bad as I first suspected and that we could race here, but in fact it was the opposite and a lot worse than first expected. We only found out at lunchtime today that it was game over, but it seems this is our only option at this point. We don't have a timescale for my return yet - it depends on the surgery and how fast I can recover. We still have a season to complete and this isn't just me giving up; I want to get back to racing as soon as possible. I have a job to do and a career to see through to the end and for it to finish like this would be a disaster, so I'll be back as soon as I can to take part in as many races as I can before the end of the season."