Stewart still unsure of when he can return

Tony Stewart
Tony Stewart

Tony Stewart said he feels good but needs to wait for a scan on his broken back later this month to determine when he will return to the driver's seat.

The three-time Sprint Cup champion, speaking Thursday after being honored for raising $1.5 million through his "Smoke Show" fantasy camp for the Texas chapter of Speedway Children's Charities, said some days it has been hard and some days it has been easy not racing this year while his back heals. "I don't [know my return] — not until they do the next set of scans," Stewart said.

"The first thing they did were X-rays [in early March] just to make sure the rods and screws were in place. When we do the scans at the end of the month, then they'll be able to have an idea exactly when it's going to happen." Stewart suffered a burst fracture of his L1 vertebra in a Jan. 31 dune buggy accident. He was going 5 mph but landed hard in a drop he estimated was 20 to 25 feet in the California sand dunes.

"I feel great," Stewart said. "I've been doing everything now over the last week that I've wanted to do. If you step off a curb wrong or step too hard, you're definitely reminded you have these rods in your back. "Other than that, I feel really well. I'm anxious to get the scans. It's driving me crazy wanting to see what it looks like and what is the diagnosis and when they think they're going to let me go." ESPN.com

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