Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner believes it was "right" for Daniel Ricciardo to miss the Qatar Grand Prix rather than rush his comeback.
The Australian injured a metacarpal in his left hand in a crash during practice for the Dutch Grand Prix and has been out of the car since, being replaced by Liam Lawson.
In the days after the accident, he flew out to Barcelona to have surgery on his right hand and later returned to the F1 paddock in Singapore for "engineering purposes" with AlphaTauri, where he was sporting a brace on his hand where it had been operated on - with a metal plate inserted along with 13 stitches.
It was expected that Ricciardo would return to the car in Qatar given that the recovery from his injury is typically six weeks, but Red Bull did not want to rush this phase.
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Horner: We want to see him at full fitness
Ricciardo was back in action in Nashville for a Red Bull show run and will make his comeback in Austin for the United States Grand Prix.
When asked why they elected to wait until Austin, Horner told media, including RacingNews365: "I think we want to see him in full fitness.
"It was right to miss this race [Qatar], particularly with - as it turned out - the conditions that we had.
"I think with Austin, obviously it's going to be difficult for him to jump straight back into a Sprint race weekend.
"I'm sure he'll be physically in good shape to take that on."