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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Elliott Sadler 'backs out'

Yesterday, the Sadler camp was in full damage control mode, and for good reason. When word that Sadler had somehow injured has back during a mid week workout the speculation began.

ESPN was quick to jump on the 'reporting' wagon and reported that Sadler's injury occurred on Wednesday morning an that Sadler had also despite this injury decided to play a round of golf that afternoon and then planed attend the UNC basketball game in Charlotte on Thursday night. Jumping the gun would be an understatement!

From the statements on ElliottSadler.com, yes, Sadler did indeed sustain this injury on Wednesday, but to be honest, back injuries are a very unique thing. Ask anyone who has 'thrown their back out', just when the injury occurred and how, and what their activities were 12 to 24 hours after the initial injury, and many times they will tell you that while there was some minor discomfort, and it didn't seem to be bad.

So it is probably true the Sadler did indeed have a nice round of golf Wednesday afternoon and its probably a safe bet he didn't experience much discomfort. However, by early Thursday morning I'm guessing Sadler knew there was a problem.

Looking at the flight plans filed and take off and landing times from Sadler's private jet on Thursday, there was no intention of going to Charlotte for the UNC game Thursday night. From Statesville (Sadler's jet is based there)to Emporia, and a few hours later to Blue Ridge (near Martinsville) Sadler appears to have one thing in mind, and that was to get healthy enough to race on Sunday.

Like I said, back injuries are a very unique thing, and different for everyone and frankly, different from other types of injuries. Curt Shilling in the 2004 American League Championship Series became a hero to some when he pitched with a bloody, stitched up right ankle that had been operated on just days before. But for a NASCAR driver, and an injury like Sadler's, simply taping up and deadening the injury with medication is not an option.

Sadler most likely can't receive any muscle relaxers or even most pain killers and expect to drive. I am sure NASCAR frowns on such things. It is uncomfortable enough to be strapped into a race car for hours even when healthy.

Bottom line, back injuries stink, and I don't envy what Sadler is going through. Especially when something like this happens in what appears to be just an 'everyday' routine.

Hopefully this injury too shall pass.


Snafam said...

Sadler even has MY sympathy!

I have been battling chronic back pain for years, and acute paid for the last month. It is not fun. I can't imagine the pain of having to twist and force his body into that seat, and then have to get out again. Ouch!

Good luck, Sadler, I hope it is nothing more than a muscle strain.

Anonymous said...

There is something going on in Sadler's life....
Things are "just not happening for him" in a positive way. While it is certain that a little rain falls in everyone's life, and ups and downs are sure to occur, The Southern Gentleman appears stuck in slow gear and unable to speed up progressively.
Methinks his back injury is a precursor to the premature demise of a mostly mediocre career.
It would feel much better to look optimistically upon the future of the Emporia native, but he has done nothing but mire himself in substandardness....in just about every way.
While wishing him well, I remain haunted by the possiblity he may well be facing some of the "things that go around" coming back to imapact his sometimes misguided persona.
Godspeed, Elliott. You will need all the help you can get.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see you not slam Sadler once in a while. He did a wonderful job today in the race and got a top 15 finish. Very proud of the heart he showed and hope his injury does not persist.