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Hinchcliffe diagnosed with concussion

James Hinchcliffe has been diagnosed with a concussion after his early retirement from Sunday's Grand Prix of Indianapolis road race.
Andretti Autosport's James Hinchcliffe looks set to miss at least some days of practice for the Indianapolis 500, after being forced to retire from Saturday's road course race with a concussion.

The Canadian was running in the top ten on lap 56 when he suddenly took to the run-off area at turn 7 and parked the car, telling his team over the radio that he wasn't quite sure what had happened but that he had sustained an injury.

A subsequent press release from Andretti Autoport's PR team said that Hinchcliffe has been taken for treatment to the IU Health Infield Medical Center, and subsequently transported by ground to the nearby IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.

Hinchcliffe was quickly discharged from the hospital after being evaluated and having a CT scan of his head and neck. However, IndyCar medical director Dr Michael Olinger revealed that Hinchcliffe has been diagnosed with a concussion.

As a result, Hinchcliffe will need to be re-evaluated by Olinger and by IndyCar's medical consultants before he is cleared to return to driving the #27 United Fiber & Data Andretti Autosports Dallara-Honda.

Last year, NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. was forced to sit out two races after being diagnosed with a concussion, the symptoms of which can include headaches and blurred vision.

A two-week enforced leave would put Hinchcliffe's participation in this year's Indianapolis 500 at risk. Six days of practice gets underway on Sunday, with the all-important qualifying sessions taking place next weekend on May 17 and 18. The 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 takes place just over two weeks from now on Sunday, May 25.

"I'm a little stiff and sore and I'd love to be back in the car tomorrow, but I suppose I should probably let the doctors make that decision," the team statement quoted Hinchcliffe as saying. "Such a bummer for the UFD car when things were really starting to come together.

"I want to thank all the fans for their messages of concern and support," he added.

Andretti Autosport said in a team statement that in the event that Hinchcliffe is not medically cleared to drive this week at Indianapolis, EJ Viso will be called up to fill in for his former teammate.

Viso finished 13th in the 2013 standings despite not competing in the finale because of illness. The 29-year-old Venezuelan recorded two top-five finishes with a best of fifth at Toronto, and had seven top tens overall. He was running at the finish in 16 of the 18 races he competed in.

"I don't feel too behind with the other drivers with it being the first oval and being in very good circumstances with the team I was at last year," said Viso. "I know the system and trust their set-ups and trust the feedback of the teammates and trust the car. It's a good scenario.

"On the other side, I'm covering a good friend of mine - Hinch - and he's going to be back very soon," he added. "But in the meantime I'm going to be shaking down his car until he comes back."



Related Pictures

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James Hinchcliffe and Michael Andretti at Barber Motorsports Park (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe on course during the 2014 Open Test at Barber Motorsports Park. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones)
James Hinchcliffe in pit lane (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe flashes across the start/finish line during practice for the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 at the Milwaukee Mile (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
The cars of Tony Kanaan and Marco Andretti sit in the Esses of Turns 4 and 5 after contact during the start of the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Marco Andretti looks over his machine prior to practice for the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe`s car in Canadian mode (Photo By Chris Owens for IndyCar media)
The #28 Andretti Autosport team celebrates victory (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe on course during practice for the Iowa Corn Indy 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Jack Hawksworth and Marco Andretti cross the start/finish line during practice at Pocono Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe on course during practice for the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Charlie Kimball (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
The finish of the 2014 Indy 500 (Photo by: Walter Kuhn for IndyCar Media)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to a second-place finish Sunday, May 25, 2014, during the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Castroneves finished just 0.0600 seconds behind race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay, just missing becoming only the fourth four-time winner of the race. (Photo by Ernie Masche/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to a second-place finish Sunday, May 25, 2014, during the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Castroneves finished just 0.0600 seconds behind race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay, just missing becoming only the fourth four-time winner of the race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to a second-place finish Sunday, May 25, 2014, during the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Castroneves finished just 0.0600 seconds behind race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay, just missing becoming only the fourth four-time winner of the race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to a second-place finish Sunday, May 25, 2014, during the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Castroneves finished just 0.0600 seconds behind race winner Ryan Hunter-Reay, just missing becoming only the fourth four-time winner of the race. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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