MotoGP icon Valentino Rossi appears likely to miss a significant chunk of the 2017 season after suffering a suspected broken leg in a motocross accident.
Rossi's Movistar Yamaha team confirmed the veteran Italian had been hurt in a "training activity" close to his hometown on Thursday.
While Yamaha's statement did not reveal details of Rossi's injuries, his father Graziano was quoted by Italian news agency ANSA as offering a negative prognosis.
"Valentino is not optimistic," said Graziano. "They fear there is a fracture.
"To do the radiograph they had to cut the boot, and Valentino told me he feels very bad."
The 38-year-old's injuries seem likely to keep him out of next weekend's San Marino Grand Prix at Misano, at the very least. Yamaha said a further medical bulletin would be issued in due course.
: Good luck to @ValeYellow46. I hope isn't so bad. I understand the feeling, I feel sorry for him and his championship. Come back soon-- Max Biaggi (@maxbiaggi) August 31, 2017
Rossi suffered mild thoracic and abdominal trauma following a motocross accident in May, but did not miss any races as a result of his injuries.
The veteran sits fourth in this year's standings, 26 points behind championship leader Andrea Dovizioso.