Robert Wickens has undergone further surgeries at IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis to repair fractures to his hands and legs that were sustained in a crash during last month’s IndyCar race at Pocono.
According to a statement from Schmidt Peterson Motorsport, the procedures were completed without any complications, and the Canadian is now expected to be transferred to a rehabilitation center in the coming days to continue his recovery.
Wickens also suffered a spinal cord injury in the accident the severity of which “remains indeterminate and under evaluation”, according to the statement, adding that “physicians stress it could take weeks or months for the full effects of the injury to be known.”
In the same statement, Wickens’ family provided a list of the injuries that the 29-year-old sustained in order to counter reports that had sought to downplay the severity of his condition:
- Thoracic spinal fracture
- Spinal cord injury
- Neck fracture
- Tibia and fibula fractures to both legs
- Fractures in both hands
- Fractured right forearm
- Fractured elbow
- Four fractured ribs
- Pulmonary contusion
“We want to thank everyone for the outpouring of love, prayers and positive energy that has been sent our way since Robert’s accident,” the family said.
“We are blown away by the strength of this IndyCar community and the support within it. While Robert’s recovery and rehabilitation continue over the coming weeks and months, your loving messages will certainly be a source of encouragement for him.
“As unverified sources immediately following Robert’s accident inaccurately and without permission portrayed his condition as less than severe, in an effort to remain transparent and open, we are providing a list of Robert’s injuries to truly showcase the severity of what our son / brother / fiancé / friend / teammate has gone through and will be recovering from in the months to come.”
SPM co-owners Ric Peterson and Sam Schmidt acknowledged the support from the IndyCar community and the care that Wickens has received since the accident, and emphasized that the No.6 entry will be held for him as long as needed. Carlos Munoz was called up to drive the car last week in Portland, and will close the season out in Sonoma.
“The IndyCar community has been nothing but supportive the last few weeks,” Peterson and Schmidt said. “We are grateful for their support as well as the exceptional care given to Robert by the AMR IndyCar Safety Team, the INndyCar Medical Staff, the surgeons and nursing staff at Lehigh Valley Hospital – Cedar Crest and everyone at IU Health Methodist Hospital.
“While Robert continues his recovery, we want to make it clear that the No. 6 entry is for Robert Wickens and him only. No matter the amount of time it takes for his full recovery, we will hold that seat for him. Carlos Muñoz, the named driver for the last two events on the 2018 calendar is doing a great job for us to keep the No. 6 owner championship points alive, and we very much appreciate all the hard work he’s putting into helping us finish the season.
“The road to Robert’s recovery will be a long and tough one, but we hope you’ll be alongside us cheering him on. BETTER. STRONGER. FASTER.”
The team expects to provide a further update when Wickens has been transferred to his rehabilitation facility, with further updates and documentation of his recovery process to come from Wickens himself at appropriate times. In the interim, the team, family and Wickens himself have asked that their privacy be respected.
Despite having been sidelined since Pocono, Wickens became mathematically impossible for any of his rivals to overtake for 2018 Rookie of the Year honors after the Portland race.