CONCORD, NC (WTVR) — Chesterfield’s Denny Hamlin met with back specialist Dr. Jerry Petty on Tuesday about his compression fracture suffered during Sunday’s race in California.
Hamlin tweeted the results of his appointment late Tuesday night:
According to Joe Gibbs racing, Hamlin will miss at least the next six weeks to heal. Petty determined though that Hamlin does not need surgery on his back.
The next six weeks on the NASCAR schedule includes the spring racing weekend at Richmond International Raceway. Hamlin’s charity Late Model race, the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown is scheduled to run that weekend as well. If Hamlin only needs six weeks to heal, the first race in which he could return would be the Southern 500 at Darlington on May 11th.
Compression fractures can take up to three months to heal, and patients routinely wear back braces for support.
Joe Gibbs Racing has not yet named a replacement for Hamlin. Since there is no race this coming Sunday for Easter, the first race they would need a replacement would be April 7th at Martinsville. Emporia’s Elliott Sadler drives the number 11 car in the Nationwide Series for Gibbs racing.