Just ten weeks before the start of the championship season, the Swedish driver suffered a hairline fracture in his left wrist after a fall while playing volleyball with his team-mates at a pre-season training camp. Typically, such a wound takes roughly eight weeks to fully heal.
“I was making a smash while playing volleyball [and] I ended up rotating onto my back. On the way down I put my left hand out – and when I hit the ground I knew immediately that something was wrong. It felt like 2000 volts pulsing through the hand,” he said of the accident.
To quicken the recovery time, Ekström has been receiving treatment from the Swiss Olympic medical centre, an organisation specialising in sports accidents.
But the injury means that the 32-year-old is currently having to sit on the sidelines while his team-mates and rivals get up to speed in the lead-up to the championship getting underway in May.
“Of course it would be good to have a few more kilometres under my belt, especially with the new Hankook tyres.
“I will give 100 per cent in every race. Whether or not this will be enough to be champion remains to be seen but this is obviously the target,” he added.
Ekström will wear the cast for a further two weeks, before he undertakes another four weeks of rehabilitation.