Tony Stewart to be out a LONG time (2nd Update)

UPDATE #2 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Tony Stewart is out for the remainder of the 2013 season after suffering a broken right tibia and fibula in a sprint car crash Aug. 5 at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Stewart, a three-time Sprint Cup champion, is expected to return to the seat of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) in time for pre-season testing in January 2014. In the interim, Mark Martin will drive the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevy Aug. 23-24 at Bristol and in 11 other races. Austin Dillon, who filled in for Stewart this past weekend at Michigan and finished 14th in his 10th career Sprint Cup start, will drive the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevy Oct. 18-20 at Talladega.

After consulting with Tonys doctors and speaking with Tony, we agreed it was best for him to focus on his recovery, said Greg Zipadelli, competition director, SHR. For the No. 14 team, our focus is on positioning them for a run at the owner championship. Mark Martin and Austin Dillon give us the best opportunity to do that, and we certainly appreciate Michael Waltrip Racing and Richard Childress Racing for making Mark and Austin available to us.

Obviously, Im disappointed to be out of the Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevy for so long, but the team is in very good hands with Mark Martin and Austin Dillon, Stewart said. Mark is someone I've looked up to my entire career and I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. Austin is a great young talent, and he showed that Sunday at Michigan. Greg Zipadelli, Steve Addington (crew chief) and everybody at SHR supports them 100 percent. This isn't a situation anyone wanted, but we're going to make the best of it. In the meantime, my focus is on getting healthy and getting back into my Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevy.

The #14 team is 13th in [owner] points, 10 out of the top-10 and 160 behind the series-leading #48 team of Hendrick Motorsports. The #14 team is first in line to grab one of the two wild-card positions for the 12-team [Owners] Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. SHR

08/08/13 Another reader writes, Dear, In 2006 I suffered nearly the same injury as Tony Stewart at Hockenheim when I was hit by a tow truck whilst photographing the rostrum. I only needed just one operation but it took the surgeons three hours to fix it! It took nine months before I was back to normal and I am still wearing a 30cms plate in my leg for the rest of my life. At the moment I have no pain at all, but sometimes I limp and Tony will probably also limp somewhat for the rest of his life. You can be sure of it. Willem J. Staat, Belgium

08/07/13 A reader writes, Dear, Last December, I fell down a flight of stairs and had the same injury as Tony Stewart minus the open grade 2 wound. For those that believe he will be racing in two weeks you are dreaming. You must first understand that both bones have been broken and leg cannot bear any weight until the leg heals. Most likely, the surgeon used surgical plates and pens to stabilize the leg. To accomplish this, I had two six inch incisions during the surgery. The leg was immobilized for 3 weeks, then I was able to be placed in a boot but still not able to bear weight.

In addition, the swelling and pain was so great very strong pain medicine was required every 4 hours for three weeks. Even if the surgeons, devise a soft cast the strength to push a clutch or brake is not there. While Tony will have a complete recovery, physical Therapy is a must as strength goes away very quickly. My recovery took 9 weeks and I didn't have an open wound which will require a second surgery. Charlie, Zionsville, IN

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