Motor racing-Kubica enters new phase on road to recovery
LONDON May 10 (Reuters) - Polish Formula One driver Robert Kubica had a further small operation on Tuesday as he entered a new phase of rehabilitation three months after his career-threatening rally accident.
His Renault team said on their website (www.lotusrenaultgp.com) that doctors now considered the first stage of the driver's recovery to be finished.
"Thanks to Robert's strength and to a highly attentive medical plan, the delicate period was overcome positively and without any complications," they said.
"With the progress of his recovery, we are now entering the second phase, which is heavy rehabilitation aimed to restore functionality."
Kubica spent two months in hospital after suffering life-threatening arm, leg and hand injuries while competing in a minor rally in Italy in early February.
The Renault statement added: "More small operations are planned to remove the unavoidable adhesions that are affecting the functionality of his forearm and elbow muscles.
"This is considered routine practice. The first one was done today and everything went according to plan."
Renault team boss Eric Boullier went to visit Kubica in Italy after Sunday's Turkish Grand Prix and reported that the doctors were pleasantly surprised by the improvement in the 26-year-old's condition.
He said Kubica had been keeping in regular contact with his engineers about developments at the team.
"Now, it is a matter of time and, even if patience isn't Robert's first quality, he is fully aware that rehabilitation could be quite a long process," said Boullier.
The Frenchman warned earlier this month it could be mid-June before the team had a clearer picture of Kubica's prospects.
Germany's Nick Heidfeld is standing in for the Polish driver at Renault alongside Russian Vitaly Petrov.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris; To query or comment on this story email email@example.com)
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