Craven Has Successful Surgery

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (April 9, 1998) Ricky Craven, driver of the No. 50 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo, underwent successful reconstructive knee surgery Wednesday at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. The anterior cruciate ligament...

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (April 9, 1998) Ricky Craven, driver of the No. 50 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo, underwent successful reconstructive knee surgery Wednesday at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery on his right knee went according to lan, but Craven said he was in a lot of pain following the operation and was held overnight for observation.

He was released Thursday morning and is recuperating at his home in Concord, N.C.

"I had been having a lot of discomfort with my knee after the races," Craven said. "It affected a lot of things that I liked to do away from the track, too, like playing racquetball and basketball. Since I'm sort of strapped down doing therapy for my other problem (post-concussion syndrome) anyway, I thought I would go ahead and get the knee taken care of.

"I had some torn ligaments in the knee, and I just hadn't had time to take care of it. I couldn't do it after the season was over because it would interfere with testing. It's going to take an eight-week recovery period. That coincides with the other timetable I'm on, so I thought it would be a great time to get it taken care of."

Craven began his second season behind the wheel of the Hendrick Motorsports Monte Carlo in 1998 and competed in the first four events. The post-concussion syndrome was diagnosed after the Las Vegas race in March, and Craven has been undergoing therapy since then. The 31-year-old Newburgh, Maine, native says his goal is to be pain-free when he gets back in the car.

"The knee is going to take some intensive rehabilitation," Craven said. "I'm strapped to equipment that will bend my knee 45 degrees, then we'll go up five degrees at a time until I can bend it with 100 percent mobility.

"This is all just an effort to be 100 percent when I get back into a race car. I want to correct everything that's bothering me and get rid of all my aches and pains."

Therapy for the post-concussion syndrome has been on course, according to the doctors, but Craven says he would like to shift it into high gear.

"It's been slow so far," Craven said. "The exercises are very meticulous, but so far, so good. The doctors say I'm making progress. I'll go back in for evaluation in a couple of weeks, and we'll see how it's progressing.

"The knee surgery will force me to settle down and just do my exercises. I've really been trying to do everything I could to keep busy and keep my mind off of not being in the car. I'd work out or go to the Bud Shop and visit the guys or go to my Busch shop -- anything I could do to stay busy.

"It's been really tough. I was dealt a bad hand, but you've got to play the cards you're dealt. I'm not about to fold." Source: NASCAR Online

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ricky Craven