James Courtney says a comeback for the Castrol Gold Coast 600 later this month is a real possibility, despite having to sit out this weekend's Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
The 2010 V8 Supercars champion this morning confirmed he would not steer his #22 Holden Racing Team Commodore at Mount Panorama, as he continues recovering from five broken ribs sustained in a freak pit lane accident at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Bathurst is the third race meeting he has been forced to miss, with co-driver Jack Perkins stepping up to fulfil primary driver duties and Russell Ingall recruited from the commentary box to drive alongside him.
Courtney explained he was working through a plan with his treating doctors to ensure he is back behind the wheel as soon as possible - the Gold Coast event kicks off on October 23.
"That's what they said to me, it should be good for there," Courtney said of a return for the final Pirtek Enduro Cup event.
"As long as we don't have any hiccups from here until then, that's what I'm pushing for.
"We set out a plan, we only found out late last night that I wasn't going to be doing this weekend. We were just waiting on the surgeon to tick it off on that. Unfortunately he didn't want to let me do it.
"We have a structure in place that we've had the whole way along and we'll re-assess. We'll continue to scan everything.
"The goal is Gold Coast."
Courtney - who is yet to win the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 since debuting at the Mountain with HRT in 2005 - said he is "massively annoyed" to sit out the race.
"It's our grand final really, it's the one race that stops the nation for motorsport here in Australia.
"To be taken out of it through no fault of my own - I'm massively, massively annoyed with the circumstances about the way it happened. The race we all live for, I can't do it so, yeah, I'm gutted."
While Courtney is still in pain, his recovery has come along well.
"The bones are showing early signs of healing, they're starting to form together which is great," he said.
"I went and had an operation last Friday where they burnt the nerves to kill all the pain for the rib fractures... all that is under control now.
"The biggest discomfort is coming off all the crazy painkillers they put you on... the last week hasn't been too pleasant.
"There's still a lot of soft tissue pain. I've lost a lot of weight because I haven't been able to do anything.
"It was in the best interest of the team, as much as I wanted to go out there and get on with it. We've passed on this one."
Courtney's best result at Bathurst was second in 2007.