Robert Kubica's hopes of returning to formula one have been dealt another blow with reports the recovering Pole has broken his leg once again.
The former BMW and Renault driver, who suffered horror injuries in a minor Italian rally early last year, has now fractured his leg by slipping on ice on the street, Ansa news agency reports.
He was taken to an Italian hospital where x-rays showed a fracture in his right leg, which was first broken in the rally crash.
On 6 February 2011, Kubica was seriously injured at the Ronde di Andora rally, in which his forearm was partially severed. Kubica missed the whole 2011 Formula One season, and although he is expected to fully recover from his injuries, his future in Formula One for the long term remains unclear.
In November 2011, Kubica confirmed that he would not be ready for the start of the 2012 season.
F1's official website said Kubica's manager is yet to comment.
But the BBC said the 27-year-old now "needs an operation to have a metal screw inserted just above his ankle".
Before the latest bad news broke, Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali played down rumours Kubica could be part of the famous Italian team's plans for 2012.
Domenicali, who admitted Felipe Massa could lose his race seat after the 2012 season, is quoted by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport: "At the moment there are no plans (regarding Kubica)."