Ferrari not expecting Massa back in 2009?

UPDATE (GMM) Ferrari's team boss has refused to completely rule out a return before the end of the 2009 season for the recovering Brazilian driver Felipe Massa.

Massa, 28, sustained serious head injuries at July's Hungarian round of the world championship, but has already announced he intends to race karts at events in Brazil in November and December.

Ferrari's Stefano Domenicali then revealed that Massa is already back in physical training, and is set to get at the wheel of a go-kart this week.

Domenicali was therefore asked by reporters in Singapore if a return to Massa's number 3 Ferrari can be expected at any of the remaining races of this season.

"I don't want to exclude anything, but we need to be cautious," he is quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph.

Domenicali is also quoted as saying by "He will be back to 100 per cent, but there is no need to rush anything."

09/01/09 It was a long day yesterday for Felipe Massa, seen by doctors. The Ferrari driver flew to Miami on Sunday for some important check ups carried out by Professor Stephen Olvey, Head of the Jackson Memorial Hospital Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit.

The checks (neurometric and impact tests, cognitive capacity tests) all had a positive outcome, just like the eye exam: everything is in order for Felipe to get back to racing. Now there has just to be carried out some plastic surgery at the brain box, where the spring at the accident at the Hungaroring hit his helmet. The surgery will take place in the upcoming days. After a short convalescence Felipe can then gradually start with physical preparations.

“I’m very happy about the results," Felipe told the official Ferrari website before boarding the plane back to Sao Paulo. “After the small surgery in the next days I can finally start to go to the gym to get back into shape and drive some tests in karts. On the track with a Formula 1 single-seater? Let’s take it step by step: at the moment I’m concentrating on taking up physical activities, which is a great step forward."

Naturally the results were received with great joy and satisfaction at Maranello with the prospect to be able to count on Felipe 100% for the start of the next racing season. Ferrari PR

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