Vitor Meira was released from hospital yesterday and is beginning his recovery from the back injuries sustained during the Indianapolis 500.
The Brazilian had a massive impact with the SAFER barrier in Turn 1 after tangling with countryman Raphael Matos late in the race. Meira suffered two fractured vertebrae and is expected to be sidelined for the rest of the season. IndyCar surgeon Dr. Terry Trammel decided that the injury could be treated with a back brace rather than surgery, and that he will recover faster if he returns home to Miami.
Meira participated in television interviews at the hospital before returning to the track to greet his A.J. Foyt Racing team.
"I feel pretty good today," he said. "I am going to see the doctors tomorrow to make sure it's okay for me to fly home to Miami this weekend. Then I will get an x-ray down there in two weeks to make sure the spine is healing the way it should.
"It's going to be very hard for me to do nothing for the next two weeks. The doctors said after that, I can do a light workout but nothing that would load the spine. So I can work on my chest and arms and ride a stationary bike. I can't ride a regular bike because they don't want me to risk falling."
Paul Tracy will fill in for Meira at Milwaukee this weekend in what is currently a one-off deal.Related story:Q&A with Paul Tracy and A.J. Foyt