Summer break is such a bittersweet time of the year. We get a break from the chaotic racing life- but do we really want a break? On the other hand, we get to spend sunny days trail riding, vacationing with family and relaxing. For a short-lived moment in the season, racers have to put in as much training time to prepare for a strong second half of the season. There is more racing coming our way including; GNCC, WORCS, National Enduro's, WEBE, Hare & Hounds, Endurocross and everything in between. Not to mention ISDE in Saxony, Germany. It's been a strange season as many of the big players have been tagged with injuries, but the end of summer should provide a fresh start for the final stretch of 2012. Read on for a list of injured riders expected to make a comeback for the remainder of the season.
The first of two National Hare & Hounds in Utah didn't exactly go as planned for Factory FMF/KTM rider Kurt Caselli. He had a perfect start, a perfect lead and crashed in just the right manner to take him out mid-season. The diagnosis ended up including AC Separation among other minor issues, but that wasn't all coming Caselli's way. A prior tear in his Meniscus pushed him to decide to get a minor arthroscopic knee surgery to clean up and repair the tear. After the Doctor's release, Caselli decided his couch days were over. He jumped back on the bike and into the routine; recently racing the AMA National Outdoor Motocross race in Southwick.
East coast Factory FMF/KTM rider, Cory Buttrick also sustained a knee injury, at the National Enduro in Louisiana. The injury report included an ACL/ Meniscus tear and fracture to the tib/fib and femur. Buttrick signed up for surgery and has been on the mend since, hoping to be back by November. It's hard to say where 2013 is headed for Buttrick, but we hope to see him have another chance in both the GNCC and National Enduro circuits with the KTM team.
Yet another injury-plagued Factory FMF/KTM rider, Charlie Mullins began his year with a win in pursuit of defending his 2011 championship title. He backed that up with four other podium results, before he tore ligaments and fractured the radial head on his arm. Since early July, he's spent the summer healing up to be fully prepared for the next GNCC and his trip to ISDE in Germany along side the US World Trophy Team.
It's been a pretty hush-hush injury that you would probably only just barely notice, but Factory Monster Energy Kawasaki's Bobby Garrison has been dealing with a shoulder injury he obtained during practice months ago. A said-to be torn rotator cuff set Bobby G back substantially as he was unable to put in a consistent performance weekend after weekend. But, watching him dominate on an Endurocross and WORCS track would make you think otherwise. Garrison was on the roster for this year's ISDE in Germany, but as of today, he will be replaced with Destry Abbott. The extent of his injury is not official by any means, and he will see the doctor this week for an official word.
One of the latest Rockstar/Valli/Yamaha off-road racers, Ross Neely turned pro in early 2012. Racing WORCS, Big 6, AMA Western Hare Scrambles and various other races, his speed was increasing and results were improving. But Neely's season was cut short in April when he broke his femur after colliding with a stump at the AMA National Shasta Dam Grand Prix. Though we haven't seen him at WORCS, he is back on the bike but his remaining season plans are unknown.
One of the most talked about KTM racers this season, Steward Baylor hit a minor speed bump mid-season when he injured his scaphoid bone on his right wrist that required surgery to put a pin through it. Luckily he was far enough in the point’s lead, in both GNCC and the National Enduro series, to take off a few races and heal. Baylor made it clear he was over the worst when he raced X Games in Los Angeles, but complained of wrist pain. Just recently taking the big win at the Rattlesnake National Enduro, he set it in stone that he is 100% back and ready to continue the chase for two championships.
2012 started as a really positive year for the Factory Monster Energy Kawasaki rider Justin Soule. His results in WORCS were solid and after the opening round of Endurocross, Soule beamed as a top threat. At round two of Endurocross in Sacramento, California Soule attempted to clear a long Matrix section during hot laps and miscalculated. Tearing ligaments, his rotator cuff and breaking the humorous, Soule was forced to step back from X Games where he had medaled in 2011. Another rider to sit out for the summer, Soule anticipates a few more weeks of therapy and heal time but is back to mild training in preparation for the end of 2012 and the 2013 season.
If anyone has had an extreme up and down racing career lately it's been Kyle Summers. A variety of issues have worked against Summers between 2010 and 2012, including his recent crash at Racetown for WORCS in May. After making a switch to KTM's, Summer's lined up for Unclassified practice unaware it would end his weekend. As he and Taylor Robert sped down a straightaway, their handlebars collided and Summer's cartwheeled his way to a broken humorous on just the first lap. Summer's has been MIA since, but hopefully 2013 can provide a fresh start for the Colorado native.
Although his injury occurred late 2011, FMF/RPM/KTM Racing Team Maxxis rider Josh Strang had a longer than usual recovery. After being diagnosed with a broken leg, he was quickly fixed up with some screws and stitches hoping to be back on the bike at the end of the first quarter of the season. Well, things didn't go that way and Strang had to go back under the knife because his leg would not heal correctly long after it should have. In April, after having a corrective surgery, Strang was released to ride. He's only been able to put in a few solid races and his results have been on the upswing. By January 2013, Strang should be back to his usual race winning habits.
In January, the (then) JCR Honda rider was battling it out at Dakar before he was bucked off at high speed, leaving with head, shoulder and collarbone injuries. He quickly healed in time for the San Felipe 250 where he would ride Orange for the first time alongside Mike Brown as a Factory FMF/KTM rider. But before he knew it, he had another painful crash taking a ride back to the States in a helicopter with a broken collarbone. For the Baja 500 in June, the team decided Cody would act as an emergency rider for his team in the helicopter, but left without having to ride. We haven't seen him race since, but Cody is signed up for the Australasian Safari for an eight day endurance ride in September, followed by the Baja 1000 in November.
The new AMA National Hare & Hound Women's champion, Nicole Bradford, injured her knee in May but pushed surgery aside until after X Games. Now three weeks post-surgery, she has repaired her ACL and LCL and is patiently waiting to heal. The now 40-year old ISDE veteran and newly crowned champion will only be able to make her return in 2013.
2011 AMA National Hare & Hound Women's champion Shayla Fulfer has been missing for much of the season. After a serious crash at the opening round of the series, Fulfer suffered from internal injuries that still haven't eft her 100%. Currently she taking a break to allow her body to try and recuperate, but it's undecided whether or not we'll see her return for West coast racing.