PAR Homes Husqvarna rider Josh Gilbert is facing an extended period away from the bike due to reconstructive ACL surgery, he has revealed.
“Absolutely gutted,” Josh exclaimed. “Today I underwent surgery to reconstruct my ACL and meniscus, I can honestly say I did not expect my injuries to be quite so bad!”
The British 23-year-old told TMX he had a few issues with his knee through last season but hoped it would resolve itself.
But an injury while cycling in December brought matters to a head. “I decided to get it checked out and when the results came back I couldn’t believe that I had done that sort of damage,” Josh told TMX.
“It was a shock really. I never really had much pain from it and was able to do everything other than run. When the result came back the team straight away said to get it fixed.”
Josh was expecting to make his MXGP debut this spring but with at least 12 weeks on the sidelines, that may have to be delayed. But much depends on not only his rehab time but also the state of the motocross calendar as uncertainly continues for professional sport.
What is certain is his will to return stronger than ever, he told TMX: “The main thing is to get back 100 per cent and if I can still make the start of the season that’ll be a massive bonus!”
He’s grateful for the support from his sponsors and the team and is keen to not let them down. “I can assure everyone that I will do everything in my power to get back as soon as I can and come back stronger,” he added. “I can’t wait to get back to 100 per cent now.”
Despite the use of knee braces, motocross is among the sports that have high ACL injury rates. However, ACL surgery does fully restore the knee in more than 80 per cent of cases.
The MX Nationals MX2 champion won five motos and three overalls on the way to his 2020 title and finished just outside the top 20 in the FIM Motocross World Championship. His best result in the world championship came at round five, the MXGP of Kegums in Latvia where he claimed 11th overall.
The team recently added Evgeny Bobryshev to their 2021 roster but PAR Homes Husqvarna had reportedly not taken Bobby’s services for the MXGP series.
The team has six riders on their squad for this year. Joining Josh are Florian Miot and Calum Mitchell who will compete in the British MX2 classes and EMX250. And the Putman brothers, Syd and Charlie, have re-signed. Charlie has moved up to MX1 and Syd will race the 125cc youth class.