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Hayden undergoes shoulder operation

World Champ misses out on vital pre-season testing

MOTOGP World Champion Nicky Hayden underwent a successful operation on his injured right shoulder at the Freemont Clinic, California, meaning he lost out on valuable pre-season testing time. The surgery repaired an undisplaced fracture through the right shoulder bone, an injury sustained at the Grand Prix of Portugal this year when team-mate Dani Pedrosa skittled Hayden off the track and into the gravel.

During the procedure, some bone was shaved off the injured shoulder bone to encourage improved healing of the fracture, and the rotator cuff was repaired. At the same time the metal plate on the 25-year-old Americans right collarbone was replaced with a smaller plate. The metal plate, a legacy of a Supermoto crash in 2004, was bent at Estoril and scans on Wednesday showed that the fall had in fact re-fractured his previously broken collarbone.

Speaking at the Freemont Clinic after the operation Nicky Hayden said: "I actually feel pretty good already. I'll be off bikes for a while but Aldon Baker, my trainer, is going to get me back doing some cardio work next week and I'm definitely looking forward to that. It's obviously been a great year all round and I'm glad I've had the shoulder fixed because it means I can now begin to prepare for the defence of this title. I'd like to thank Dr Ting and the staff at Freemont, and all the fans who've given me great support this year."

The newly crowned World Champion is expected to wear a sling for two weeks following the successful operation but will be able to resume some cardiovascular training within a week. If his recovery goes to plan Hayden is expected to be fully fit in time for the first MotoGP test of 2007 which begins at the Sepang circuit on January 22, 2007.

Bone shaving? Smaller shoulder plates? Is the current World Champ trying to get his weight down to compete with Dani Pedrosa in the coming season?

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