ROME, Jan 12, 2012 (AFP) - Polish Formula One driver Robert Kubica, recovering from serious injuries suffered in a rally in February, has had a setback after falling on ice and fracturing an ankle, a medical source said.
Kubica, 26, fell over when he was out walking near his home in Pietrasanta, in the northern Italian region of Tuscany, the Ansa news agency reported.
Sources at the local Versilia hospital, where Kubica was initially treated, said he had suffered a "microfracture" of the right ankle.
There were also suggestions that Kubica aggravated the right tibia fracture he suffered during the life-threatening high-speed rallying accident last February.
Doctors applied a splint to the new injury and transferred the Renault driver to the Santa Corona di Pietra Ligure hospital, which is handling his overall rehabilitation.
The new injury could delay the return to the track for the Polish driver, who did not compete in the 2011 Formula One season.
Previously his progress was judged by doctors to be excellent, thanks to an intensive training regime.
This new setback to the driver might not necessarily play that bad for the driver, since it might allow him to recover better from the other major injuries and not rush his comeback.
At this point in his career, Kubica has to prove that he is 100% recovered and that his speed and driving skills are in top form before jumping into the cockpit. So, minor delay to his ankle fixed might just provide a bit more time to prove his value and wait for the opportunity, which are scarce nowadays.