Valentino Rossi could be back in action sooner than was thought possible following his injuries during the Italian Grand Prix.
The Yamaha rider has been out of action since he broke his leg in a crash at Mugello, and had said last month that he was aiming to return to racing at the Czech Grand Prix in August.
However, Italian daily Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Rossi is likely to test a Yamaha R1 road bike on Thursday at the Misano circuit, to assess his conditions ahead of a possible return to MotoGP at the Sachsenring race on July 18.
"This is payback for me, because I had immediately predicted short recovery times," MotoGP doctor Claudio Costa was quoted as saying by Gazzetta dello Sport.
"Going a certain path wasn't to make him race at all costs, but it was for making him heal well quickly. The operation, done by inserting only four screws that fix the big pin in a particular way, was done to allow him to walk as soon as possible, despite the bone not being fully healed.
"After all, this pin, called Kuncher, was created to allow the soldiers to be sent to the front quickly..."
Costa said that if the test is positive, "Valentino would find the enthusiasm to race immediately," but he also warned against a comeback before Rossi is fully healed.
"A new crash would be a problem. But the pin inserted is very big and the screws can break only through a manufacturing defect."