News 22 Nov 2016

McCormack on road to recovery following successful surgery

CDR Yamaha rider reevaluating racing return after A4DE incident.

Image: Mad Dog Images.

Image: Mad Dog Images.

CDR Yamaha’s Tom McCormack underwent successful surgery last night to replace existing damaged hardware in his back and to stabilise a broken vertebra following a heavy crash on day one of the 2016 Yamaha Australian Four-Day Enduro last week.

McCormack described to incident to, revealing he was left unconscious from the crash and suffered a seizure before being airlifted to Royal Melbourne Hospital.

“In the test I crashed in I hadn’t caught anyone at that stage,” McCormack shared. “I hit a hole and both of my hands came off the handlebars – I landed funny on my head and I was knocked out for apparently three minutes, and then I had a seizure for about three minutes. I thought I was okay – I thought I was just concussed.

“I went to the local hospital and then they airlifted me back to Melbourne after a scan revealed I had possible bleeding in my neck, a fracture in a vertebra and some of the rods already in my back were broken and some screws were snapped. I was transferred to Royal Melbourne Hospital, and then I went to Epworth Private Hospital for surgery. I had surgery last night to fix one vertebra and to replace all the exisiting hardware in my back.

“The extent of the injuries – the bleeding in my neck subsided and they couldn’t really find it again, which was good. Obviously when I crashed a broke a few screws and rods, so they probably didn’t have to operate on the vertebra that I fractured, but I had go in [to surgery] anyway, so they stabilised it by putting the scaffolding a bit further up my back. They replaced everything in there – I think there were four rods, seven screws plus the new hardware, which I’m not sure how much is in there.”

The New South Welshman is expecting a minimum of 12 months before making a complete recovery, however after suffering significant injuries in a crash last year, he is now reevaluating any plans to return to professional racing.

“After my first injury I struggled to get back on pace – I feel like I was finally starting to be myself within my riding,” he continued. “I believe this injury was caused with the [existing] metal work in my back, so I’m going to have to sit down and talk to a few people and seeing if it’s worthwhile continuing with the risks I have of another crash.

“It’s pretty early on, but I would like to stay involved in the sport if I’m not racing, but at this stage I will not be racing in 2017 just because I won’t be ready. The earliest I can come back is 2018, and I’m not really sure if it’s a responsible thing to do.”