Canadian IndyCar driver Robert Wickens underwent surgery in Allentown, Pa., to have titanium rods and screws placed in his spine to stabilize a fracture after suffering a spinal cord injury in last weekend’s crash at Pocono Raceway.
IndyCar said in a statement Tuesday that the severity of the injury was unknown.
Wickens, 29, is expected to undergo more surgery to treat fractures in his lower body and right forearm. The native of Guelph, Ont., remains in stable condition.
Watch the crash:
His car sailed into the fence at Pocono when he and Ryan Hunter-Reay made slight contact on Sunday.
Hunter-Reay’s car spun and Wickens’s car launched over it and into the fence. A large hole was torn in the fence. The race was delayed two hours to repair the damage.
Wickens is a rookie in IndyCar but a championship driver in touring cars in Europe. He left that series this year to try IndyCar alongside childhood friend James Hinchcliffe.
The two Canadians became friends racing against each other in the junior ranks, and Hinchcliffe lured Wickens back to North America.
Hinchcliffe, from Oakville, Ont., and Wickens drive for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, and Wickens had been surprisingly competitive since his series debut. He was on his way to winning the season opener at St. Petersburg, Fla., until he was spun in the closing laps.
Hinchcliffe, who also was involved in the crash at Pocono, has been medically cleared to return and will race on Saturday at the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 in Madison, Ill., the team announced Tuesday. Wickens’ No. 6 car will not be filled by another driver for Saturday’s race, the team said.
Wickens had one pole, four podiums and a pair of runner-up finishes, and was sixth in the standings before his crash.
He was top rookie at the Indianapolis 500 in May, finishing ninth.