IRL: Sam Schmidt stable after surgery

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., 9:30 a.m. (EST), Friday, Jan. 7, 2000 - Indy Racing League driver Sam Schmidt is in serious and stable condition at Orlando Regional Medical Center after surgery late Thursday night on a spinal injury suffered in...

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., 9:30 a.m. (EST), Friday, Jan. 7, 2000 - Indy Racing League driver Sam Schmidt is in serious and stable condition at Orlando Regional Medical Center after surgery late Thursday night on a spinal injury suffered in an accident during the league's Open Test at Walt Disney World Speedway. Surgeons used a pin and a bone graft to fuse Schmidt's C-3 and C-4 vertebrae, which suffered contusions and bruising in the accident Thursday morning, said Dr. Henry Bock, Indy Racing League director of medical services. Schmidt was alert and responsive after the surgery, Bock said. Schmidt, 35, continues to suffer from some paralysis, Bock said. The determination of the extent and duration of Schmidt's paralysis cannot be made at this time, Bock said. A three-year Indy Racing veteran, Schmidt was injured when the rear of his 1999-spec Treadway Racing G Force/Aurora/Firestone car hit the outside retaining wall in Turn 2 of the 1-mile tri-oval. Schmidt was testing with other Indy Racing drivers in preparation for the season-opening Delphi Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Speedway on Jan. 29. More details about Schmidt's injuries and condition will be provided when available.

-IRL/IMS-

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