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Doctor says Kubica will return

ESPNF1 Staff
September 28, 2011 « Teams begin testing at Jerez | Fernandes hails Renault 'stability' »
Renault wants confirmation of Robert Kubica's return so it can finalise its driver line-up by mid-October © Sutton Images

The doctor in charge of Robert Kubica's rehabilitation says it is a "certainty" that he will return to Formula One in 2012.

Kubica's recovery has been the centre of much attention since his final operation, and the scrutiny was increased when Renault team principal Eric Boullier set a deadline of mid-October for confirmation of his driver line-up for next season. Dr Riccardo Ceccarelli said that he still couldn't put a firm date on Kubica's return, but that it would allow him to resume racing.

"I would say with certainty that Robert will be a F1 driver in 2012," Ceccarelli told Omnicorse. "I cannot say when he will be ready but it will be between the months of November and January."

Ceccarelli also said that the functionality of Kubica's right hand is no longer a concern.

"Yes, it's great, even if this healing is gradual. Not forgetting that Robert suffered injuries to two of the three nerves, and had severs of the tendons and muscles, the feeling has come back to the fingertips."

Kubica has yet to drive as part of his recovery, which Ceccarelli said was the result of giving his leg more stability while other injuries healed, but that he would soon be able to begin building up muscle again.

"It is true, Robert still has an external fixator on his leg and we have not rushed to remove it - the longer the better, and the better result. So as we wait for the healing of the hand and the elbow, there is still no hurry... The muscles have been inactive for months and so need to recover tone and strength. But the big question - if he can drive in formula one again - has gone."

Kubica's manager Daniele Morelli said that Boullier's deadline may be difficult to meet, but that he too was "certain" Kubica would be able to return.

"We are not able to predict a precise date (for Kubica's return) because it is nature taking its course," Morelli said. "But we are optimistic, very optimistic, and I do not think a delay of a couple of weeks can affect the plans. One thing is certain - he is coming back. The only problem now is muscular."

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