Verizon IndyCar Series driver Robert Wickens is recovering from successful spinal surgery performed Monday evening in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
A team of doctors at Lehigh Valley Hospital – Cedar Crest operated on Wickens to stabilize a thoracic spinal fracture associated with a spinal cord injury, according to a statement released this morning by IndyCar officials.
Titanium rods and screws were successfully placed in Wickens’ spine during the surgery.
However, according to the IndyCar statement, “the severity of the spinal cord injury is indeterminate at this time.”
The statement added, “Wickens is expected to undergo further surgeries to treat fractures in his lower extremities and right forearm. He remains in stable condition.”
Wickens was injured in a high-speed crash during the early stages of Sunday’s ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway. Wickens’ car touched wheels with the car of fellow competitor Ryan Hunter-Reay, sending Wickens’ car airborne and into the catchfence at the end of Turn 2.
Wickens’ car then spun several times in mid-air before landing on the racetrack and eventually coming to rest along the inside retaining wall.
It took rescue workers more than 12 minutes to carefully extricate Wickens from the mangled vehicle. He was immediately transported via helicopter to Lehigh Valley Hospital– Cedar Crest, about 45 minutes away from Pocono Raceway.
The Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver is in his rookie season on the IndyCar circuit after a lengthy racing career in Europe.
Here is the full update statement from IndyCar:
“Medical update on Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver Robert Wickens
ALLENTOWN, Pennsylvania (Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018) – 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.
“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.
“Further updates will be provided when available.”