Thursday, October 8, 2009



Just when our good ol' mate Wattsy was looking all set to make a triumphant return to the international dirt bike racing stage at this month's ISDE in Portugal, things went pear-shape for him a week ago when a low-speed practice tumble for one of his Dirt Wise Riding Schools left him in hospital in the USA with some potentially serious spine injuries.

Here's the news direct from Wattsy himself:

"G'day Everyone,

"Thanks for the outstanding support I have received from everyone since I crashed last Thursday while setting-up for a Dirt Wise school near Kansas City. Pretty much is was just one of those dumb, slow crashes at only about 5mph (which probably should not have even happened). Anyway, as I went off a three-metre high creek bank the engine stalled, which resulted in an abrupt endo and trip over the hangers. I landed sprawled-out flat on the creek bed and the bike proceeded to have an intense, direct impact on my spinal column just below my shoulder blades. This resulted in three broken ribs, but more importantly multiple fractures to the six vertebrae between T3 and T8.

"Following several days of hospitalisation in Kansas City and a flight back to Charlotte, NC, to see our specialists here, there were conflicting opinions about the severity of the injury and the best option for total recovery. With more consulting today it was determined that one on the vertebrae had started to collaspe and that surgery was the only option.

"Therefore I'll be heading in tomorrow (Thursday Oct 8) for surgery to have the fractured vertebrae fused together. I'll spend approximately three days in hospital for observation and pain management but then will be able to walk on out of there and begin light, everyday activities as I continue to heal. Following about three months of recovery and rehab the specialist says I'll be ready to get back out on the trails again and get into it!

"So, again, thanks heaps to everyone for their emails of support as we really appreciate that. We will post updates to our website every few days following the surgery to let those who are interested know what my progress is. 
"Also, check us out on Facebook for additional updates-just search "Shane Watts" and become a fan.

"I can tell you though that I am pretty disappointed that this injury prevented us from attending the ISDE (Six Days) in Portugal, from Oct 12-17. I was planning on making this my last-ever ISDE. Unfortunately this is not the ending I was looking for...."

-- Wattsy,

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