Laying there in Texas after his crash, Cal Crutchlow looked in a bad way. While team PR said he'd suffered only a broken finger and damaged hand, Crutchlow looked like a man suffering from much more than an admitted hand injury.
That's because he was. Injured much worse, that is.
"It was the hardest crash of my life," Crutchlow said today. "I took a big hit. I bruised my lungs."
That's why, then.
A pulmonary contusion, the medical term for bruised lungs, is a major injury which in some cases can be fatal. It's a signal that your torso has been flung with great vengeance against mother earth. The injury is very painful but has one upside: you're not dead if you can feel the pain.
Have coffee with a funeral director and you might be surprised the number of humans who pass away from things like "bruised lungs" or aortic tears.
Crutchlow said that The Argentina round of the championship was the first time he could remember in his career missing a race. He sat at home and watched the GP on the television, and found it to be a hugely frustrating.
"I could have won that race," Crutchlow said. "Same as ten million other guys watching the race," he said.
This was a slightly different, somewhat diffused Crutchlow.
The pain from his damaged torso has diminished, Crutchlow said, but his hand remains a worry. Will he be able to do a full weekend's duty on the Ducati just a few weeks after taking a huge hit?
"We'll see," he said.