Leigh Adams Badly Injured

Cycle News Staff | June 9, 2011

Ten-time Australian Speedway Champion Leigh Adams has suffered spinal-cord damage, several broken vertebrae, punctured lungs, broken ribs and a broken shoulder in an off-road accident in Australia’s Northern Territory.

Adams, who retired from racing in January after a 20-year career, crashed on Tuesday afternoon while preparing to race in the Finke Desert Race that begins this weekend.

Adams was flown to an Adelaide hospital where he underwent a six-hour surgery to stabilize his spine, according to the Herald Sun.

Adams’s wife, Kylie, told the Herald Sun that her husband was doing better than expected “given the magnitude of his injuries. He has no feeling in his legs at present, except a little bit in one thigh. But that situation could certainly change and improve in the weeks and months ahead. He faces a long, hard road to recovery.”

Adams, 40, is in intensive care but is expected to be moved to a spinal care unit soon. “He’s very stable and probably a bit too well to be in intensive care,” Mrs. Adams told the newspaper. “He’s very alert and talking. Leigh has no head injuries at all, which is wonderful news. He’s just very sleepy, due to the pain medication being administered.”