James Hinchcliffe will require further medical clearance before being allowed back behind the wheel to prepare for this month’s Indianapolis 500.

The Canadian retired injured from Saturday’s race on the Indianapolis road course, after which medical examinations confirmed that he had suffered concussion as a result of being struck by accident debris.

“I’m a little stiff and sore and I’d love to be back in the car tomorrow, but I suppose I should probably let the doctors make that decision,” Hinchcliffe was quoted as saying after being discharged from Indianapolis’ Methodist Hospital.

The race, won by Simon Pagenaud, was marred by a number of accidents, which also saw city mayor Greg Ballard, who waved the green flag to the field, struck by debris in the startline crash between Sebastián Saavedra, Mikhail Aleshin and Carlos Muñoz. Ballard suffered minor soft tissue injuries, according to IndyCar officials.

If past procedures are anything to go by, Hinchcliffe might be forced out for the next seven days before being reassessed and given the all-clear.

With the coming week devoted to preparations for next weekend’s Indianapolis 500 qualifying events, that kind of delay would have a significant impact on the Andretti Autosport driver’s preparations for the biggest event on the championship’s calendar.

The Andretti team has put former full-time driver EJ Viso on standby should Hinchcliffe be unable to take part in any of the Indianapolis 500 build-up sessions.

Image via IndyCar Series Media

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.