Denny Hamlin will have offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder.
The Associated Press first reported Hamlin’s plans, which he expanded upon Friday afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway. Hamlin expects his recovery time to be about 10 weeks, which will be before the start of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season at Daytona.
Hamlin, who is still championship eligible and arrives at Texas as its most recent winner, said he doesn’t know what led to the injury.
“It’s something that has been nagging (me) really for years,” he said. “I’ve had shoulder issues. It just got to the point where it was really bad and got it scanned and figured out what it was. It hadn’t really affected me in the car at all. That part has really been fine.”
While uncomfortable sleeping on that side of his body, the injury has not limited him in any other way, Hamlin said. A Cortisone shot has been his “saving grace” when the pain starts.
“It went from being immobile to feeling like there is nothing wrong with it right now, to be honest,” said Hamlin. “I can still lift weights (but) I can only do them a certain way. I have to limit my mobility on that part, but it hasn’t affected anything in my everyday life.”
In 2015, Hamlin raced the last part of the season with a torn ACL in his right knee from playing basketball. After having surgery in the offseason, Hamlin was recovered for the start of the ’16 racing season.
Hamlin is the second playoff driver to reveal he’s racing injured. Kyle Larson admitted last week he’s been dealing with a rib fracture from a crash he was involved in at Talladega.