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More trouble for injured Webber

MARK Webber's house cleaner may be in need of the Australian Formula One driver's crutches after having her leg broken by his dog.

The Red Bull racer, who smashed his right leg in a cycling accident in Tasmania in November and is walking with a pronounced limp, said his household had suffered another casualty.

Webber's Rhodesian Ridgeback 'Zimba,' also known as an African Lion Hound weighing in at a hefty 42 kilos, floored the cleaner at the driver's home in England two days ago and just before the animal had been due to be castrated.

"He's like a human torpedo," Webber said yesterday at the launch of his team's new RB5 car at the Jerez circuit in Spain. "He's used to mucking around with me and I go pretty hard with him. He clipped (cleaner) Pauline and knocked her over and she didn't come up too well out of it."

Webber, who was on crutches until late last month and will have to race with a titanium pin in his right leg for the next year and a half, was not in the room at the time and shrugged off any personal risk from the pet.

Team principal Christian Horner was relieved to have his driver still intact with the season starting in Australia on March 29.

"Mark told me on the way down here yesterday and I said at least he's got all the crutches and kit that he can lend her and maybe she can go and sit in an oxygen tent with him or go in his deep freeze. I just feel sorry for his partner who's now got a housekeeper and her other half hobbling around on crutches," he said.

Webber said he had one pin removed from his leg last Thursday, was ahead of schedule for his recovery and would be back in the cockpit this week for the first time since the end of last season.

The Australian has been speeding up the healing process by using a cryogenic chamber, standing nearly naked in sub-zero temperatures for minutes at a time.

"It's still a bit tender," he said of the leg. "We're focusing on Melbourne and we'll see how we go here, how it feels to drive."


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