Battered Kenny Ingalls pledges from his hospital bed: ‘I’ll be back’
Last updated at 12:19, Friday, 24 August 2012
Workington Comet Kenny Ingalls has spoken from his hospital bed about the horrific crash that broke five bones in his back, two in his arm and his shoulder.
He told Times & Star Sport: “I remember pretty much all of it and it was by far the most pain I have ever been in.
“I couldn’t breathe and I couldn’t move, so I was struggling.
“It was bad and it wasn’t pretty.”
The tough 25-year-old has vowed to race again and said he hoped to do so for Comets, his first British outfit.
Disaster struck on August 11 as Comets hosted Scunthorpe in the Premier League.
In heat nine, Ingalls was out in front when Scunthorpe’s Josh Auty tried to take him on the inside going into a bend.
Auty hit Ingalls, sending him crashing into the boards, and then, as the young American was down on the track, Michael Palm Toft rode into his back.
It took medics more than an hour to help Ingalls from the track and he was taken for scans at Whitehaven’s West Cumberland Hospital before being transferred to Newcastle for surgery.
It is the second serious injury Ingalls that has suffered in three seasons, as he missed the back end of the 2010 season when he broke his leg at Berwick.
That affected him at the start of 2011, but he admitted his latest injury is a lot worse.
He added: “This injury is so much different because the broken leg was just a leg and these injuries are major.”
Ingalls had surgery on his back last Friday in an eight-hour operation that helped fuse the bones together. He had another operation on his broken arm on Monday.
He said that both operations had been successful and he was working on the long road to recovery.
Although his surgery has finished, Ingalls will have to go through months of physio and still have x-rays to make sure he is progressing well.
The Californian’s plight has touched the hearts of much of the speedway community.
He has received countless visits from riders both from the Comets and other teams, while his mum Kris flew over from America this week to be with her son.
He has also received a tweet from World Champion and fellow countryman Greg Hancock.
Ingalls said: “The support has been awesome and I have never had so many get well wishes.
“All the cards I have had and people visiting has been really cool and I definitely couldn’t ask for more support.
“I am doing okay and all the support from everybody has made things a lot easier and helping me through it.
“It will be cool having my mum to help me out.”
There has been speculation that the injuries could have spelled the end of his speedway career but he said he was determined to return to the sport.
He added: “I don’t see why I shouldn’t be able to return.
“This happened just as I was getting back to basics, trying new things I had learned and starting to come back and feel good again, and this kind of thing always ends up happening.
“I would definitely want to come back to Workington but it is up to the management to decide whether they want me.”
Ingalls still does not know when he will be able to be released from hospital but he hopes to fly back to America during the winter if he is fit enough.
He also hoped he could make a visit to Derwent Park before the season end, but said he would have to wait and see if it would be possible.
First published at 11:52, Friday, 24 August 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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