Martyn Bell has been forced to rethink his BTCC plans for 2010 after revealing that an injury caused to his hip after a fall on holiday has come back to haunt him.

Bell had hoped to be competing in 2010 after missing three rounds in 2009 because of the injury but it seems that it is causing more problems than first thought.

“It’s been common knowledge that I have been carrying an injury since July, but after extensive tests and treatment following the final round of the season at Brands Hatch, it has now been discovered that I suffered a fracture in my hip, and have now developed arthritis,” said Bell.

“Added to the fact that I also require surgery on a long-standing back injury, I’ve been forced into the difficult decision to sit out the 2010 season.”

“It’s not a decision I have taken lightly, but in reality, I had no option. My sponsors and backers fully understand the reasons behind the decision and have already said that they will continue to support me despite this setback.”

“I was looking forward to 2010 and am obviously disappointed that I won't be able to race this season, but it has reached the stage where I am in pain driving my road car, so surgery is the only option. I'm also gutted that I've been told not to ride my motocross bike anymore and I'm not sure I'll manage a round of golf for a while… which is a right pain as I just bought some new clubs!”

The decision to sit out the 2010 season leaves Tech-Speed squad with a spare seat alongside Paul O’Neill, with Bell looking to make his BTCC comeback in 2011.