F1: Kubica's career left in the balance

Robert KUBICA'S motorsport career remains in the balance despite encouraging progress in his recovery from serious injuries sustained at the weekend.

The Formula One driver was yesterday brought out of an induced coma after a seven-hour operation to save his right hand, which was partially severed in a huge accident on the Ronde di Andora Rally on Sunday.

The 26-year-old Pole's condition has been described as "much better" by his Lotus Renault F1 team.

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Kubica was yesterday able to move his fingers on his damaged hand and communicate with members of his family, before being placed under medication in order to sleep for at least the next 24 hours.

Doctors warned, however, that it would be a further six days before it is known whether the operation to reconstruct his hand has been a success.

In the meantime, Kubica faces the prospect of further major surgery in the coming days, with doctors evaluating how best to treat fractures to the elbow and shoulder of his right arm. He also suffered fractures to his right leg - injuries which in themselves could take three to four months to heal.

Lotus Renault said in a statement yesterday: "Robert's general condition is much better today. Professor Mario Igor Rossello, director for the Regional Centre of Hand Surgery at San Paolo Hospital in Savona, did not notice any swelling or infection on his right forearm, and this is another good sign."

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