We reported late last week that Jeffrey Herlings was having surgery to repair a fractured foot—an injury from a training crash—and the Red bull / KTM team just officially announced the injury earlier today. It is still a little up in the air on Jeffrey’s recovery time, but remember this is a man that has ridden through injuries as gnarly as a broken femur. A fractured foot for Jeffrey is the equivalent to a hangnail for you and I.

While with most riders I would say a March 3rd (the day of the MXGP season opener in Argentina) return to racing might be a longshot, I think it is highly likely that the reigning MXGP World Champion will be on the line.

You can check out KTM’s press release below.

January 31, 2019 – The Red Bull KTM star, who won 17 from 19 Grands Prix in 2018, suffered the injury Friday afternoon while training at the Albaida circuit in southern Spain. Herlings immediately flew back to Belgium that day and underwent a procedure with renowned surgeon Dr Claes to fix fractures in his right foot. Thankfully the 24 year old did not sustain damage to his ankle and the whole operation took place swiftly and with success.

Herlings had planned to race the Hawkstone Park International in the UK on February 16th but will now focus entirely on his rehab. He will change his cast next week and is scheduled for a consultation with medical staff in six weeks to determine the full extent of the recovery time, making his participation in the opening round of the FIM Motocross World Championship in Argentina on March 3rd unlikely.

Jeffrey Herlings: “I landed strangely from a jump and was at an angle when I went too close to the track ‘wall’ of dirt at Albaida. I got my foot caught between the bike and the mud. I knew we were in trouble, and we had the operation as soon as possible when we saw the foot was starting to swell. This is obviously not the best way to start 2019 but we’d been riding and preparing well and we have to work now to get back to that level. The good news is that Dr Claes and his team were really happy with how the operation went and I don’t have any more pain or swelling. In six weeks time we’ll know more and it all depends how the bone heals. Thanks for all the messages from the fans. We’ll be back strong!”

Dirk Gruebel, MX2 Team Manager & Technical Co-Ordinator, Red Bull KTM: “This is obviously a disappointing situation for Jeffrey and the team and also for fans of MXGP because we all want to see the guys fit, healthy and ready to go for a new season. It is a shame the way the crash happened and if it hadn’t been for that part of the track then maybe he would have escaped without a problem. Jeffrey had some first class treatment by Dr Claes in Belgium to fix the breaks in what is a tricky part of the body for injury. Everything went well though and there is nothing wrong with his ankle or anything else that could have made the injury more serious. Now he’ll look to recover again and come back to MXGP close to the form we saw in 2018.”