Horror smash leaves Kubica's career in doubt

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Formula One driver Robert Kubica spent Sunday night in an induced coma and is facing a year out of the sport after suffering horrific injuries in a high-speed rallying accident in Italy.

The 26-year-old Pole suffered serious injuries to his right hand, arm and leg in an accident on the Ronde di Andora Rally.

Kubica, who drives for the Lotus Renault F1 team, was airlifted to Santa Corona Hospital in Pietra Ligure after colliding with a wall at high speed while competing in a Super 2000 Skoda Fabia.

Initial reports suggested Kubica was in danger of losing his hand, which was partially severed in the accident, although those fears were later played down.

However, Professor Mario Igor Rossello, a specialist surgeon involved in the seven-and-a-half-hour operation to reconstruct Kubica's hand, warned that it was too early to accurately assess the long-term implications of his injuries.

Rossello told reporters he was "moderately satisfied" with the operation to rebuild the hand, but said that it would be several days before doctors could determine whether the hand would be "able to return to full function."

He added: "The danger is in five to seven days you can have vascular problems and we could then do surgery again to solve these problems."

When asked what the best prognosis for recovery would be, Rossello replied: "One year. One year is the best provision."

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