Posted on Sep 29, 2016 by George Penny
When the surgeon told me it was a minimum of eight weeks before I could even consider riding a motorcycle again I said to myself that’s five weeks then. I’ve always had this blind faith and unrealistic expectations about most things in life. You have to start with a positive mind-set or you will never do it. If you don’t start the very first day with a clear plan and time scale of what to do you have missed a big opportunity.
When I got back from Germany after the accident I called round and eventually got the phone number from friends within friends for Mr Andy Williams who I’d been told was the top man and performed similar ligament operations on Premier League footballers. He answered the phone even though it was a bank holiday Monday. I could not have been looked after by better people.
I think the operation took around an hour and a half at the Cromwell Hospital in London. I already had all my physio equipment sat in the room for when I woke up because everybody knew as soon as I came round I was ready to start work. When you have someone taking care of the medical side they can tell you all these things. Lying in hospital not moving your leg for two days is not going to do any good and the leg will start stiffening up. If you want to get back as quickly as I do you should keep the leg still for no more than two hours. Get the joint moving as soon as possible because it can move when you are having the operation when you are under anaesthetic. It’s only afterwards that the body starts to tighten up.
My Mum, Dad, family and friends have been unbelievable and put their lives on hold just to help me get to where I am now. On a daily basis they dedicated their time to get me better and without them I would not be talking about racing in Japan. I had my own little physio clinic set up in the house and it was really full on. Everyday just doing the absolute maximum allowed the knee to get better.
First of all I went to Body Limits in Milton Keynes and they did a fantastic job in between the operation after the crash in Germany when the back of the knee was stitched up and the operation in London, I also went back there just after the second operation so I real taxi service from so many people to make those 7.30 am appointments. They looked after the knee before the second operation although there is only so much you can do just flushing everything through for a maximum of 45 minutes a day.
After the London operation I went to Harris and Ross which is a specialist rehabilitation centre in Cheshire. I lived up there for a week and did three hours of rehab every single day including two hours in the pool and the rest in the gym. I just about had time to eat and sleep because we’d set up a mobile clinic in my room to keep the knee mobile. Every two hours in the night the alarm would wake me to enable me to ice the knee in order to have it right for the next day of treatment. I would be a liar if I told you it was not a painful time. Sitting on the treatment table being battered from your quadriceps to your hamstring to your calf was hard but we could see an improvement every single day which was all I needed to keep going. When you can see that improvement and feel things are going in the right direction you can put up with a little bit of pain,
I came to Motorland Aragon last weekend to see the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team and to pack my flight cases for Japan. I’m back in Andorra where the work will continue to a maximum.
I’m midway through the time between the operation and the Japanese Grand Prix in just over two weeks’ time. If I can make the same progress as I have in the first half I should arrive in Motegi in fantastic shape.
Nobody expected me to be back so quickly but also nobody said Brad you are not going to be able to do it. Nobody actually looked me in the eye and said we don’t think this is possible. Deep down everybody understands just how much I want to be back riding the M1 Yamaha and nobody told me they didn’t think they were capable of helping me get there.
Still plenty of work to do before we board that plane for Japan but we will make it. It’s a massive thank you to everybody for both their efforts and also their faith in me.