Robert Wickens suffered a fractured thoracic spine in Sunday’s horrific crash at Pocono and underwent surgery for the injury Monday.
IndyCar said the severity of Wickens’ spinal injury is “indeterminate” at the moment. The surgery was performed to stabilize the fracture.
“Titanium rods and screws were placed successfully in Wickens’ spine during the surgery, which was performed without complication,” an IndyCar statement said. “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.”
Wickens car crashed head-on into the wall after he made contact with Ryan Hunter-Reay early in the race. Wickens car crawled up the wall and then got caught in the catchfence. The impact with the catchfence caused Wickens’ car to spin violently around while in the air. Wickens car landed right side up on the track and spun to a stop near the inside wall on the exit of turn 2.
Wickens, 29, is in his first season of IndyCar competition. His crash extends a now four-year streak of IndyCar drivers being severely hurt (or worse) in crashes. Justin Wilson died in 2015 after he was hit in the head with debris from a crash at Pocono. In 2016, James Hinchcliffe was impaled when his car slammed into the wall during preparations for the Indianapolis 500. Sebastien Bourdais suffered a fractured pelvis when his car crashed into the wall as he attempted to qualify for the 2017 Indianapolis 500.
Alexander Rossi won Sunday’s race, which was delayed two hours because of repairs to the catchfence following Wickens’ crash. Wickens’ Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team has not announced a replacement driver for the upcoming race at Gateway.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.