Yamaha World Superbike rider Marco Melandri has joined the club. Not the Hair Club for Men (yet) but the bad shoulder club. Other members include Neil Hodgson, Eric Bostrom, Kurtis Roberts, Valentino Rossi and others. Hodgson's career was essentially over after suffering a shoulder injury while riding a dirt bike.
Former 250 world champion Melandri was awakened by strong shoulder pain last week which he initially was told by a doctor was the result of "getting older".
The pain in Melandri's shoulder seems to have intensified and he has returned to the hospital. Reports have it that he may have undergone surgery this morning.
In 2006 Melandri suffered a dislocated shoulder in a crash at Catalunya.
What caused this recent injury is unknown. One school of thought has it that his test on the Yamaha R1 did this. But skeptics put forth that if a rider has a bad shoulder, the weakness would be revealed while on a MotoGP bike on Bridgestones, not a Superbike on Pirelli tires, no matter the difference in weight. Legend has it that American Ben Spies, while in WSBK, actually spooned a Pirelli front tire off his R1 under extreme braking. Conversely, Xerox Ducati WSBK rider Michel Fabrizio tore muscles in his shoulder by just riding the Pramac Ducati in 2009.
Melandri raced a motocross event recently.