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May 6, 2009

Young Has Portion Of Finger Amputated, Will Try To Ride At Infineon Raceway

Rockstar Makita Suzuki's Blake Young will try to ride at the Kawasaki AMA Superbike Showdown round of the AMA Pro American Superbike Championship, May 15-17 at Infineon Raceway, in Sonoma, California, even though the 21-year-old racer had a portion of a finger amputated yesterday.

Young suffered injuries to the pinkie and ring fingers on his left hand when he crashed during the American Superbike race May 3 at Barber Motorsports Park and his hand got trapped between his handlebar and the pavement.

Young was transported to a local hospital where his wounds were thoroughly cleaned and bandaged. He was then referred by Dr. Thomas Bryan, an orthopedic surgeon who has operated on several AMA riders, to see renowned hand specialist Dr. Luis R. Scheker at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky.

"We talked about doing a skin fold," Young told Wednesday, "where we were going to cut open the ring finger and sew the two together until I got blood circulation and everything [in the damaged portion of the pinkie] and then cut them apart in a couple of weeks and let them heal that way. That was the first thing we wanted to do.

"The second option was to cut back [amputate] the tip of the pinkie. The first knuckle was messed up. I still had the tendon to extend the finger, but the tendon to pull it back was missing and there was a lot of skin missing.

"But once he [Dr. Scheker] got in there and cleaned it up and had a better look at it, the skin flap didn't make much sense because that last knuckle was pretty ground up from the asphalt. And it was pretty dirty, so he was worried that if he sewed them together that it would get infected.

"So what we ended up doing was taking that part of the knuckle off and using that excess meat and skin to sew back to the finger, because I was missing quite a bit of skin and meat. I think all that was left was some tendons and bone.

"The ring finger, the knuckle got it pretty good, but nothing that can't heal on its own. I just need to keep it moist and keep changing bandages on it, and it will heal itself.

"I've got to go back in a week, get the [13] stitches removed and see what we can do, but we're going to try to make Infineon. If the thing is feeling good, we'll ride at Infineon. If not, we'll for sure be at Road America."
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