Degrees of Relativity
by staff
Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Youch! The x-ray from Leon Haslam's broken leg, suffered in practice at Assen WSBK, is an ugly reminder that broken tib-fib isn't always a minor injury.
image thanks leon haslam
When Valentino Rossi broke his tibia in 2010, the surgeon who fixed it said the Italian's injury was the worst he'd ever seen. Rossi suffered a displaced and exposed fracture of his lower leg.

It's a good thing Rossi's surgeon didn't see Leon Haslam's broken leg, then.

The PATA Honda World Superbike rider crashed in practice at Assen last weekend and like Rossi suffered a break of his lower leg. Similarities between the two injuries probably end there.

Haslam's leg was caught by the bike as he crashed and the incident basically split his tibia near the top of the bone, and broke the fibula as well.

You'd probably have to go back to Aaron Yates' crash at Fontana, Wayne Gardner's 1989 USGP crash and resulting broken leg or Michael Doohan's infamous Assen crash to get in the same "ghastly leg injury" neighborhood as the one Haslam suffered.

His injured leg ballooned up with swelling, making it impossible for the Dutch surgeons to operate on Haslam. He was flown home to the UK and later underwent surgery there, where surgeons re-set the bones and installed a rod to help stabilize the leg. Haslam was cracking jokes on Twitter afterward.

Rossi made a comeback worthy a Hollywood movie from his broken leg. Yates sat out almost two years and is now racing again. Gardner and Doohan almost saw their careers end because of their injuries. Sports medicine has advanced from the days when King Kenny Roberts' sole strategy to repair broken bones was to drink as much carrot juice as he could without turning orange. Haslam? Sooner than later, we bet.


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