Another injury has bit Denny Hamlin. On Tuesday night, while playing basketball, Hamlin tore his right anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), a Joe Gibbs Racing representative stated on Wednesday.
Hamlin went to the doctors at OrthoCarolina on Wednesday for an MRI to confirm the tear. Though, he was diagnosed with a torn ACL, the driver of the No. 11 is not subject to change, but will require surgery immediately following the 2015 season.
Hamlin could potentially petition NASCAR to skip this weekend with a medical waiver, similar to Brian Vickers at the beginning of the season, but he is expected to race this weekend at Richmond.
The 34-year-old has one victory thus far in 2015 and is a lock for the Chase which begins next weekend in Chicago. He is expected to run the full-schedule and compete for his first Sprint Cup championship.
This comes on the cusp of a good stretch of racing for Hamlin and Joe Gibbs Racing as JGR has won seven out-of-the last 10 Cup Series races. For Hamlin, he personally had a three-race streak of consecutive top-five finishes and won the XFINITY Series race at Darlington this past Saturday.
For the Virginia native this is his second torn ACL. Back in January of 2010, his left knee buckled and required mid-season surgery. Prior to that season he didn’t get the surgery done and even won a race at Martinsville Speedway in mid-March. The next day Hamlin had the surgery and two weeks later he won the 500-mile race at Texas Motor Speedway. That season Hamlin won a career-high eight races and finished second in the championship standings.
Just earlier this season at Bristol, Hamlin was complaining of neck spasms which forced him out of the racecar after a six hour red flag for rain. Hamlin is certainly no stranger to racing injured and will have to do so for the remainder of the season.