Good news emerged from Italy on Wednesday afternoon: Robert Kubica can move all five fingers on his severely injured right hand.
The limb was partially severed in a rally crash last Sunday, raising a question mark about the Pole's future in motor racing.
But his hand surgeon Igor Rossello is quoted by SID news agency: "The operation went perfectly.
"It is a great result that Kubica can now move his hand, because the surgery was long and complicated."
The next hurdle for the 26-year-old Renault driver is an operation not on Thursday as originally scheduled, but instead on Friday, to work on his injured right shoulder and foot.
A few days later, Kubica will return to the operating table for elbow surgery.
Rossello said Kubica then faces a long period of rehabilitation.
"He will need to work hard every day."
Before that, however, the Grand Prix winner will be interviewed by Liguria police who are investigating the crash, in which Kubica's Skoda Fabia was skewered by a length of armco barrier.
Renault team owner Gerard Lopez visited Kubica in hospital on Wednesday.
"Robert is a great loss for us at the moment that is forcing us to revise our plans. This is clearly a difficult time.
"We don't know yet if and when Robert will return. If it will be a long recovery and he will not be back this season, we need to rely on an experienced driver.
"The fate of our season will depend on this new driver, as without Robert it is difficult to predict how we will fare. Obviously, we need a driver capable of winning the championship."
Ivg.it said Lopez is meeting with Renault team boss Eric Boullier today.
More Than Three Candidates For Kubica Seat
There are more than three candidates to race injured Robert Kubica's Renault in 2011, team boss Eric Boullier said.
Reports on Tuesday said the Frenchman had shortlisted only Bruno Senna, Nick Heidfeld and Vitantonio Liuzzi to become Vitaly Petrov's new teammate until Kubica is ready to return to the R31.
"Senna, Heidfeld and Liuzzi?" Boullier is quoted by the Spanish sports newspaper Marca.
"We have talked with them, but there are others that we have also spoken with who are in perfect condition to drive the car," he said.
A report by the Spanish news agency EFE said Pedro de la Rosa is one of the others who has been contacted.
"If I were Renault right now I would take Pedro de la Rosa," said former McLaren driver Mark Blundell on Twitter, "as he has more Pirelli experience than all the current guys."
But a team spokesman said the Lotus-backed outfit is in no rush to choose from the list of candidates.
"It is too early to talk about it," he is quoted by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.
"There is still five weeks until the first race, so we still have some time to make a decision," he added.
Either Bruno Senna or Romain Grosjean, Renault's two third drivers, will replace Kubica at this week's Jerez test.