Recovery going to plan declares Webber 14 Jan 2009
Back in November Mark Webbers preparations for the 2009 season were dealt a bitter blow when the Red Bull driver broke his leg in a road accident during his annual Tasmania Challenge charity event. Since then Webber has focused all his energy on recuperating and the Australian is confident he will be back in action soon.
It is seven weeks since I broke my right leg but, as the start of pre-season testing looms, the recovery is going well, Webber told UK Formula One broadcasters, the BBC. The leg is starting to get a bit more strength back in it. Hopefully I will be walking quite soon and once that happens the whole curve accelerates quite quickly. The intensity of my rehab will start to increase as I get more confident with my leg.
Although his leg is clearly on the mend, the opening race of the season is under three months away and Webber is under pressure to maintain his physical fitness ahead of the Melbourne event. As a result, the Australian has been following a specially-designed programme of exercise during his convalescence.
I have been doing a lot of pool work, static bike and a lot of specific exercises to keep the leg firing through when I could not put weight on it, he explained. That has all gone to plan, no complications, which is always nice. I have lost a sizeable chunk of my aerobic fitness but I am very confident that come the last few tests I will be in very good shape again.
Webber, who drove a road car for the first time since his accident last week, hopes to be well enough to return to the Red Bull cockpit when the team launch their new car at the Spanish circuit of Jerez on February 9. He then plans to share the driving load with team mate Sebastian Vettel at three subsequent tests before heading to the season opener in Australia.
"I do not think I will be disadvantaged as a result of breaking my leg and I can tell you now that I will not be using it as an excuse in Melbourne," he concluded.