Robert Wickens undergoes spine surgery; more surgeries planned

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In a statement released by INDYCAR this morning, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports rookie Robert Wickens successfully underwent surgery on Monday evening to “stabilize a thoracic spinal fracture associated with a spinal cord injury” from Sunday’s ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway.

Wickens remains in stable condition and is still at Lehigh Valley Hospital – Cedar Crest.

The Canadian driver has had titanium rods and screws placed along the spine to correct the damage done in the multi-car accident that saw his No. 6 Lucas Oil Honda leave the ground and make significant contact with the Turn 2 catch fence at Pocono.

These rods and screws were inserted without complication, through the statement goes on to read that the “severity of the spinal cord injury is indeterminate at this time.”

At a later date, Wickens is expected to undergo further surgeries to treat fractures sustained in his lower extremities and right forearm.

An MRI performed on Monday morning helped the medical staff at Lehigh Valley Hospital – Cedar Crest identify the most appropriate surgical plan of action for Wickens, and it was just hours later that they had him scheduled for an evening surgery on the spine.

In Sunday’s accident, Wickens also sustained a pulmonary contusion – otherwise known as a bruised lung.  There is very little medical action that can be taken for an injury such as that and at this time the best medication will be rest while the chest wall heals.

Racing Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay on lap 7 of Sunday’s race, Wickens and Hunter-Reay would make contact in Turn 2 that would trigger the five-car accident.  Joining Hunter-Reay and Wickens in the carnage would be Takuma Sato, Pietro Fittipaldi and James Hinchcliffe, the other Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver.

In a statement from Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, Hinchcliffe reported he has no broken bones from the hits he took, though debris did enter the cockpit during the melee and he has bruises and cuts to his hands.  All drivers with the exception of Wickens have been cleared to drive for this weekend’s event at Gateway Motorsports Park.

We will continue to offer updates as they are available.  If you would like to send get well cards to Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, please forward those to this address:

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
Attn: Veronica Knowlton
6803 Coffman Rd Indianapolis, IN 46268

Images by Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR.

Tanner Watkins

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