The Holden Racing Team says there is no reason James Courtney won’t be fit for the Bathurst 1000, despite the injured driver returning to hospital yesterday.
Courtney was injured in a freak helicopter-related accident at the recent Sydney Motorsport Park round, sustaining damage to his ribs and lungs after being struck by flying debris following a low pass over pit-lane.
He was forced to sit out the SMP round, and is also out for this weekend’s Sandown 500, with Russell Ingall replacing him in the #22 Commodore.
His chances of returning for the Bathurst 1000 have now been thrown into doubt with news that a CT scan has revealed the rib injuries are worse than first expected, and that Courtney is back in hospital.
However, the team is refusing to speculate that Courtney may miss the race, suggesting that there is no medical reason why he won’t be fit for the October classic.
“This week James underwent a CT scan and 3D model of chest and upper body. It was found that he has five broken ribs (not three as initially thought), two under his arm and three on his back,” read a statement from the team.
“Rib number seven is displaced, which is causing soft tissue pain, and because the bones are broken on both his side and back there is little support for movement.
“After the scans James went to see a thoracic surgeon and it was recommended he undergo further pain treatment to assist the recovery process. A nerve blocker has been injected into his spine to ease the pain and allow him to move and breathe more easily.
“This will also help reduce the risk of him developing pneumonia.
“James will again being seeing the thoracic specialist today to work on different recovery methods to ensure he is fighting fit for Bathurst.
“While the above sounds quite dramatic, the team is fully focussed on James’ recovery and is ensuring he receives the best medical care available.
“If all goes to plan the current medical advice suggests no reason why James won’t be taking his place on the grid at Bathurst.”