Meira dispatched from hospital
28 May 2009 – Vitor Meira has been released from hospital in Indianapolis following his frightening accident with fellow Brazilian Raphael Matos in Sunday's Indy 500. Meira, whose car skidded along the track on its side, sustained two fractured and will be missing this weekend's race at Milwaukee as well as, possibly, the rest of the 2009 season.
After first suffering a large pit fire, Meira's dramatic Sunday afternoon came to a sudden and shocking conclusion at Turn 1 as his A.J. Foyt car became entangled with Matos' and airborne, collecting the safety fencing and thankfully landing the right way up on the exit of the corner. Clearly in no condition to climb back into the cockpit, Paul Tracy has already been confirmed as his replacement for the time being.
"I feel pretty good today," Meira said on Wednesday, despite suffering from two fractured vertebrae in the shunt. "I am going to see the doctors (on Thursday) 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." From then on, the 32-year-old's recovery will be monitored by Miami doctors.
With a back brace in position, the Brasília-born driver will not need to undergo an operation but will be required to proceed with caution. "It's going to be very hard for me to do nothing for the next two weeks," he admitted. "The doctors have said that 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."
For GPUpdate TV's highlights of the 2009 Indianapolis 500, including the pit fire and crash of Vitor Meira, click here.