Doctors optimistic of saving Kubica's hand

Robert Kubica was yesterday awakened from an induced coma as he began the first day of a lengthy rehabilitation from serious injuries sustained in a rallying accident on Sunday.

Kubica, who suffered a partially severed right hand and fractures to his right arm and leg in a high-speed shunt on the Ronde di Andora Rally, was able to speak to medical staff for the first time on Sunday evening following seven hours in surgery.

The 26-year-old's Super 2000 Skoda Fabia left the road and collided with a church on the first special stage of the rally, with reports suggesting his injuries were caused by a crash barrier penetrating the driver's footwell. His co-driver, Jakub Gerber, was unhurt.

The head of the intensive care unit at the Santa Corona Hospital in Pietra Ligure, Dr Giorgio Barabino, shed more light on the extent of the Pole's injuries, saying several transfusions had been required to stabilise his condition as a result of significant blood loss.

"Kubica is conscious, he talks and understands what has happened," said Dr Barabino. "The first thing he thought about was his co-driver and was informed about his condition.

"Things are going well considering that there was substantial damage. There were huge difficulties we faced and the necessary measures were taken immediately. Kubica lost a lot of blood, that is why the first hour was critical.

"He was unconscious and could not be operated on when he arrived at the hospital. He needed many transfusions during the stabilising process, as well as during the very long surgery."

Earlier, Kubica's manager Daniele Morelli said the Formula One driver had taken "important steps forward" in his recovery. "He is suffering because of the lesions to his leg and arm, but the brain activity is OK and we are certainly more relieved than we were 24 hours ago," Morelli said.

Professor Mario Igor Rossello, who operated on Kubica on Sunday, has said the Lotus Renault driver will take a year to recover from his injuries, while more immediately it will take the best part of a week to determine whether the procedure to reconstruct his hand was a success. Rossello, a specialist hand surgeon, said: "The hand is warm, which means the surgery went well. It was a difficult operation. We will need six days to verify if the blood circulation in the limb responds as it should do."

The Lotus Renault team principal, Eric Boullier, defended the decision to allow Kubica to contest a rally so close to the start of the new Formula One season. "It was agreed between us he keep doing the rallies because it was part of his balance in his life," he said.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones