Rods placed in Wickens’ spine during surgery

Robert Wickens

Robert Wickens has had titanium rods inserted in his spine during surgery but there is uncertainty over the severity of his spinal cord injuries.

Wickens went under the knife after his shocking crash in the early stages of Sunday’s IndyCar race at Pocono Raceway, in which he sustained injuries to his spine, right arm, and “lower extremities”.

A statement from IndyCar reported that the surgery took place “without complication” and that the Canadian is in a stable condition.

However, Wickens will likely require more surgery due to the scope of his injuries.

“Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver Robert Wickens underwent surgery Monday, Aug. 20 at Lehigh Valley Hospital – Cedar Crest to stabilize a thoracic spinal fracture associated with a spinal cord injury sustained during the INDYCAR event at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, Aug. 19,” read a statement issued on Tuesday (local time).

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“Titanium rods and screws were placed successfully in Wickens’ spine during the surgery, which was performed without complication. The severity of the spinal cord injury is indeterminate at this time.

“Wickens is expected to undergo further surgeries to treat fractures in his lower extremities and right forearm. He remains in stable condition.”

The rookie had been running fourth when he attempted to pass Ryan Hunter-Reay at Turn 2, spinning the Andretti Autosport car which Wickens then rode over and into the catch fence.

Hunter-Reay, James Hinchcliffe, Pietro Fittipaldi, and Takuma Sato, who were all caught up in the crash, were cleared of serious injury at the circuit’s medical centre.

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has confirmed that Hinchcliffe will drive this weekend at Gateway Motorsports Park but that Wickens’ #6 entry has been withdrawn.

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