Andrew Short Talks About His Injury

Kit Palmer | February 11, 2010

Last Saturday night at the San Diego Supercross, Honda Red Bull’s Andrew Short suffered an injury to his lower leg that will keep him off the bike for up to six weeks. The injury is a tough blow for the Texan who seemed to be on the verge of winning his first Supercross race. Short was running in second place in the San Diego main event, two laps from the finish, when he cased a triple jump, breaking the leg. He was also fourth in points going into the San Diego race.We just spoke with Short who shed some more light on the injury and his recovery.First of all, what did happen on that triple jump?At the bottom of the jump I kind of cross-rutted and, because of that, my rear end stepped out and it just slid going up the face of the jump. When it did that, it just stalled out in midair and had no forward momentum. I came down like a rock on the top of the landing of the triple jump and basically just stopped. Obviously, I had the big panic rev going, hit, and the bike kind of took off underneath me. I knew initially that when I was running back to my bike the pain set in and I knew something was wrong.So what exactly is the injury?I have an undisplaced facture on by talus bone, typically that’s a really bad bone to break, because the blood flow isn’t very good there. Fortunately for me, I broke it in a great place where there is good blood flow and wasn’t displaced really bad. So I don’t require surgery or some of the things that I’ve heard horror stories about this injury, so I’m pretty optimistic that I’ll have a full recovery and that the recovery will be a lot quicker than your typical fracture of that bone. It’s the bone right below your tibia and fibula, and right above your calcaneus, which is your heal bone.The initial x-rays didn’t show very much, because I’ve broken my tibia and fibula and my calcaneus before and there was a lot of scar tissue there. I broke it when I was 13 years old, so it was really hard to tell on the x-rays, like what was old, what was new. I ended up having a CT scan and that’s what defined my injury and they could tell more what was going on.Mentally, this injury must’ve have been a big blow to you.Mentally it’s really hard. I felt like I had some great rides, but they didn’t show what I was capable of. I’ve worked really hard on the speed part and had things going great with that; obviously, I was in the best position I’ve had all year with two laps to go being in second place, and to go down like that definitely was a bad thing. But I’m trying to stay positive, so when I do come back I can hang it out a little more – I don’t have to worry about points or anything else and can go for that win. That’s what I’m looking forward to.What are your plans now?I’m headed back to Texas on Sunday after Anaheim III, I’m going there to hang out and sign autographs and be around the Honda team, then go back and recover as quick as possible. Fortunately I’m working with good doctors, I have a cast-boot and I’m working with a bunch of machines to help with the recovery process. Between Dr. Reiman and Jeff Spencer, who is helping me with my injury – the recovery part of it. He’s an essential part of that, he has a lot of ideas and experience with injuries like this and that should accelerate the recovery time for me, so I’m pretty excited about that. Dr. Reiman works on the Asterisks’ rig on the West Coast. He saw me from the initial impact till yesterday at the doctor’s office.Do you think you’ll be back before the end of the Supercross series?That’s the goal. I don’t want to come back for just two rounds or something like that, but I don’t want to shoot for any unrealistic goals or put a timeline on there, because I’ve got to let my body heal at its pace and I want to respect that. My goal is to race the last few Supercrosses, but if I’m not prepared, there is no sense. My goal is to go out there and get a win, not to roll around in fifth place like I’ve been doing – I might as well stay home.Some people have been saying that too many racers are getting injured because the tracks are too technical and dangerous. What are your thoughts on that?The conditions were really tough in San Diego, because they built a track that was built for dry conditions, and the element of the rain and the conditions just made it gnarly. That was nobody’s fault, you can never predict Mother Nature. I think they (the track builders) did the best job that was put in front of them. Ultimately it comes down to the rider, and I made a – I was hanging it out, I tried to do something I hadn’t been doing, I took a chance. Motorcycle racing can be dangerous, I knew what I was doing – I just made a little mistake. I don’t blame anybody but myself, and I think they’ve been doing a great job with the tracks. Everybody has to race the track that’s put in front of them and some of the guys might’ve backed off on that jump. At this point in my career, I just felt like I needed to take that chance, I was tired of finishing where I was and was trying to push it to another level. The down side is that sometimes you make mistakes and get an injury. I think the tracks have been great, you have to have something that is challenging for the riders or else everybody is going to be doing the same thing, and I don’t think the fans will get a good race and the enjoyment won’t be there.


Kit Palmer | Off-Road Editor

Kit Palmer started his career at Cycle News in 1984 and he’s been testing dirt and streetbikes every since – plus covering any event that uses some form of a knobby tire. He’s also our resident motorcycle mileage man with a commute of 120 miles a day.