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Denny Hamlin Tears ACL, Still Plans to Race in Richmond

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Denny Hamlin No. 11 Toyota Camry

Denny Hamlin in the No. 11 Toyota Camry
Photo: James Marvin Phelps

Believe it or not, a tear to the ACL is quite unpleasant. Many athletes are benched after experiencing such an injury and must wait until it’s completely healed before returning to their sport. Denny Hamlin isn’t like most athletes; the 34-year-old NASCAR driver still plans to race in the Sprint Cup this weekend despite having torn his right ACL during a recent game of basketball, which is pretty phenomenal.

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Hamlin drives the No. 11 Toyota Camry racecar and ranks eighth in current Sprint Cup Series standings. Having already torn his left ACL back in January 2010, Hamlin had surgery that April during an off-weekend and managed to compete in all races that season. In fact, he won the race at Texas Motor Speedway a mere two weeks following his previous surgery. This time, Hamlin will wait until the season finishes before having the surgery to repair his ACL.

Joe Gibbs Racing released the following statement regarding Hamlin’s injury:

Joe Gibbs Racing announces today that driver Denny Hamlin suffered a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in his right knee while playing basketball Tuesday night.

Hamlin had a MRI this morning to confirm the diagnosis and has been evaluated by the medical team at OrthoCarolina. He has received the medical clearance necessary to continue racing activities and is expected to race the remainder of the season and through the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship. Hamlin will require surgery to repair the ACL damage following the season.

Watch Hamlin take on the competition at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, September 12th at 7:30pm Eastern time on NBCSN.

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News Source: USA Today, ESPN