Driver Denny Hamlin isn’t expected to miss any NASCAR races despite tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee playing basketball Tuesday.
Hamlin will have surgery on the injured knee after the season, according to a news release by Joe Gibbs Racing. He will race in Saturday’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, then take part in NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup for the remainder of the season.
Hamlin had an MRI on Wednesday morning to confirm the extent of the injury.
“He has received the medical clearance necessary to continue racing activities and is expected to race the remainder of the season and through the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship,” the statement said.
Hamlin’s injury continues what has been a difficult season for key JGR employees. Driver Kyle Busch missed 11 races after breaking his leg and foot during a crash at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in February. Team president J.D. Gibbs has been undergoing treatment this year for symptoms impacting brain function.
In 2010, Hamlin raced after tearing his left ACL (also while playing basketball). He won eight races that season and finished second in the Chase to Jimmie Johnson.
In 2013, Hamlin missed four races after breaking his back in a crash at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. In 2014, he missed a race because of a piece of metal in his eye.