By AMANDA VINCENT
Joe Gibbs Racing announced Wednesday afternoon that Denny Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 JGR Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, tore an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in his right knee while playing basketball Tuesday night, but he does expect to race in the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway on Saturday night and in the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup that will follow.
According to the JGR announcement, Hamlin had an MRI Wednesday morning and was medically cleared by a doctor at Ortho Carolina to continue racing for the remainder of the 2015 season. He will undergoe surgery to repair the ACL during the offseason.
Hamlin already is locked into the Chase, thanks to a win at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. He also heads into Richmond eighth in the points standings.
Hamlin suffered the same injury in his left knee prior to the start of the 2010 season. then, he intitially opted to put off the surgery and began that season, driving with the injury. He eventually had the surgery during the 2010 season near an off-weekend in the schedule and managed to not miss the race. He won eight races that year and finished second to Jimmie Johnson in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Hamlin did miss four races because of injury in 2013. Then, he suffered a broken back after a crash that also involved Joey Logano at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. He missed the race at Auto Club Speedway the following year because of a piece of metal in his eye.
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