IndyCar rookie Wickens stable after spine surgery

Los Angeles (AFP) –


IndyCar rookie Robert Wickens was in a stable condition on Tuesday after undergoing surgery to repair his injured spine following a horrific crash at the Pocono 500, his team said.

A statement from Wickens' Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team said the Canadian driver had surgery to stabilise his spine at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Pennsylvania on Monday.

"Titanium rods and screws were placed successfully in Wickens' spine during the surgery, which was performed without complication," the statement said.

"The severity of the spinal cord injury is indeterminate at this time."

The statement said Wickens was expected to undergo further surgeries to treat fractures in his legs and right forearm, describing his condition as "stable".

Wickens was hospitalised after his car was sent hurtling into the catchfence following a collision with Ryan Hunter-Reay's IndyCar at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond on Sunday.

The crash occurred three years after British driver Justin Wilson died in an accident at the same Pocono circuit in 2015.

Wilson was fatally injured after being struck by debris from an accident involving Sage Karam.

Sunday's accident has prompted calls for a review of safety standards at the circuit, with former driver Paul Tracy saying IndyCar should find an alternative to chain link fencing and posts around racetracks.