Champion puts tests on hold

Michael Schumacher, the Formula One world champion, is unlikely to test for Ferrari until the New Year because of surgery to remove a pin from the leg he broke at Silverstone last year. A Ferrari spokeswoman said yesterday that the German was expected to go into hospital some time this month but could not say exactly when it would be.

Michael Schumacher, the Formula One world champion, is unlikely to test for Ferrari until the New Year because of surgery to remove a pin from the leg he broke at Silverstone last year. A Ferrari spokeswoman said yesterday that the German was expected to go into hospital some time this month but could not say exactly when it would be.

Schumacher told fans after a charity football match in northern Italy last week that he would be having an operation in a few days' time to remove the pin from his right tibia and would then have to rest for a while. "I don't think he's going to test before the New Year," the spokeswoman said.

Ferrari expect to return the track again at the beginning of December, when a month-long ban on all testing ends, but have yet to fix dates or venues.

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