Swanepoel to Miss Start of GP season – Out for Four Months

Molson Kawasaki’s South African superstar Gareth Swanepoel is due to undergo a wrist operation on Wednesday and is confirmed to miss the start of the MX2 season.

After struggling through the pre-season races in a lot of pain and discomfort 23-year-old Gareth Swanepoel has made the brave but smart decision to sit out the start of the MX2 world motocross championship in order to get his wrist fixed hopefully once and for all.

The scaphoid injury has been a problem for Gareth since early in the 2006 season when he originally broke the troublesome bone in his right wrist but after late season bone graft surgery in ’07 it was hoped that the small bone would heal properly with the aid of a small screw. Unfortunately for Gareth this wasn’t the case and a recent exploratory examination proved that the surgery had not been completely successful and the bone had still not healed.

Gareth will now go under the knife again and a vascularised bone graft will be carried out. The aftercare for this operation includes being plastered to above the elbow and it’s expected that the recovery period should be in the region of four months.

“Obviously we are devastated for Gareth,” explains Molson team manager Lisa Church. ”We know he has worked hard over the winter to get over both his foot and hand surgery and we had high hopes for him for the ‘08 season. He has been struggling with the wrist pain in the early races and it is quite a serious problem and something he needs to get sorted. We have every confidence that he will come back strong and hopefully without any pain.”

The remaining members of the Molson Kawasaki team go into this weekend’s opening round of the world championship with high hopes of success with Stephen Sword and Gautier Paulin flying the Molson colours in MX2 on their factory KX250F-SRs while Tom Church makes an MX1 debut for the Molson squad on the KX450F.