Penske Racing's Will Power has been diagnosed with a compression fracture of his fourth thoracic vertebra following the multi-car accident at Las Vegas ten days ago.
Power was in one of the cars that went airborne in the middle of the 15-car wreck, and he ended up in the catchfence and against the wall but seemed to have escaped any serious injury. He was evaluated in the in-field care center at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and released.
However, Power was still experiencing back pain and returned to the care center subsequently, at this point it was decided to dispatch him to the University Medical Center for more extensive tests. He was released the same night, apparently with no injuries having been determined.
At the funeral service for Dan Wheldon on Saturday, Will Power was clearly still in discomfort and had some difficulty walking, and now further evaluation in Indianapolis on Monday by IndyCar Series orthopedic specialist Doctor Terry Trammell has confirmed that Power did in fact suffer a compression fracture in his accident at Vegas.
Dr Trammell said that the injury would heal itself with rest and rehabilitation, and that Power did not need any treatment, surgery or a back brace in the meantime. Trammell will continue to monitor Power's recover and will stay on contact to advise on the next steps.
Dr Trammell added that there was no reason to think that the injury would affect Power's return to active duty behind the wheel when the IndyCar series resumes in 2012.
Power has previously suffered a serious back injury in the series, when he was involved in an accident during practice for the 2009 Motorola Indy 300 in Sonoma. Power suffered two fractured vertebrae and was sidelined for the remainder of the season.
Power finished as the runner-up in this year's IZOD IndyCar Series, following the cancellation of the final race at Vegas in the aftermath of Wheldon's tragic death.