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Jeff Smith to miss 2018 after latest surgery

Jeff Smith will miss the 2018 BTCC season after undergoing further surgery on the injuries he sustained in the multi-car accident at Croft earlier this year.

Smith was one of the most seriously injured drivers in the incident that occurred during qualifying for the fifth meeting of the year, and has undergone multiple rounds of surgery on extensive damage to his shoulder.

The most recent operation on Smith’s damaged nerves took place at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, with the end result being that the 51-year-old is now expected to make a complete recovery.

However, the time required will prevent the 51-year-old from making a return to his Eurotech Racing Honda Civic in 2018, with it unlikely he will be in a position to return to competition until at least the autumn.

“When they operated, they discovered that the auxiliary nerve had been severed in the crash and had stopped feeding the deltoid muscle, which prevented it from regrowing,” Smith’s partner Jo Polley revealed. “The severed part has now been removed and Jeff has undergone what they call a triceps to auxillary nerve transfer, which should allow the deltoid to regrow and ultimately give Jeff full movement back.

“We’ve been told this will take about nine months to be fully working as the neurones regrow. Short term, he will be in a sling for the next six weeks and will have to undergo more physio whilst longer term, there will be no racing next season. However, he should eventually make a complete recovery.”