An Open Letter from Ben TownleyTuesday, January 24, 2006 | 9:27 AM
To my fans, friends and sponsors,
I wanted to let you all know where I'm at and what's going to happen from here. As you all know I crashed last Monday, practicing here in Florida. When I went down my right knee dislocated and I was taken to hospital for reduction. It all went back into place fine and there were no complications from that side of things.
Aldon got things set up for an appointment with Dr. Tom Haney and Dr. Chris Berg, who are orthopaedic doctors here in town. Early Tuesday morning I had an MRI and more x-rays taken to determine if there was any more damage from the dislocation. I was hoping for the best as the pain hadn't been too bad overnight and the swelling wasn't that great at all. Dr. Haney was able to have a look at the MRI straight away and determined that my ACL, MCL, and PCL are all torn and will need full reconstruction. The MRI was sent away for further checks to make sure there was nothing else in there that had been missed.
On Thursday Dr. Haney met with us again and had a full plan on how the recovery to racing will go. Following that appointment, I was immediately fitted for a brace to keep my leg stable but let me keep my quadracep muscles working and keep my range of motion right up until the operation. The surgery should take place this Thursday, January 26. The surgeons will perform a cadaver operation where they will graft ligaments into my leg from a donor to repair the damage. Once the op is completed I will be straight into rehab, using a machine to keep passive movement going.
From there it will be all up to me -- the recovery will be a long time and I will have to work hard over the next few months to rebuild my strength and fitness in order to return to racing. As of yet there is no time frame on when I will be back on a bike, but I will only return to racing when I am 100 percent fit and strong and ready to win races.
I want to say thanks to everyone who has called and sent emails. It's great to know I have all of your support. I'll keep you up to date on how things are progressing as much as I can along the way.
I'm already on the comeback trail now and I will be back stronger than ever.
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Jean-Michel Bayle, the iconic superstar of yesteryear, raced motocross for the first time in twenty-one years at the Vets MXdN in England. Page 126.