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Haslam fractures tibia, may not race

Leon Haslam joins the list of walking wounded as a fracture to his tibia threatens to rule him out of the opening World Superbike round at Phillip Island.

Leon Haslam will wait for the outcome of surgery on his fracture tibia before deciding whether to compete in the opening round of the 2012 World Superbike Championship.

Haslam fell at the high-speed final corner on the first day of official WSBK testing at Phillip Island, the Briton landing heavily on his feet. However, while it was initially feared he had injured his heel, further tests reveal he has suffered a fractured right tibia, as well as a broken bone in his left foot.

The BMW rider will now undergo surgery to have a screw and plate inserted to fix the fragment in its original place, an operation that threatens his participation in the 2012 season opener in less than four days' time.

A bitter blow for Haslam, who has been consistently inside the top five during testing so far and was a winner at Phillip Island in 2010, he is now hoping a successful surgery will allow him to soldier on this coming weekend.

"This is just a disappointing situation, as we were making good progress," he said. "Right from the start my lap times were not bad. The crash was quite a big high-sider just before the start-finish-straight. I landed on my heels, and I thought I could have fractured them.

"The scans later showed I had fractured the end of my right tibia instead. On top of this, I broke a small bone in my left foot, but this should not be a big issue. I now shall keep my fingers crossed that the surgery goes well and I will be back on the bike very soon."

Haslam becomes the fourth ride to suffer an injury during testing at Phillip Island, with John Hopkins, Eugene Laverty and David Salom all breaking bones last week. As yet, Hopkins is the only rider to withdraw, while Laverty will leave his decision until the eve of the event and Salom is expected to race on.

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