In a multi-part Instagram post today, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Austin Forkner released the full extent of his knee injury sustained in a crash in qualifying in Nashville.
Forkner confirmed he sustained a fully torn ACL in the crash and will undergo surgery soon and miss the remainder of the 2019 season.
“The extent of my knee was a fully torn ACL. Not a half tear, not a quarter tear. It was fully torn and that’s a big difference,” he said in the Instagram video. “Fully torn is tough and there is no stability. I also tore my meniscus and I think a slight tear and beat up my MCL. I also chipped some cartilage off of my femur and had a massive bone bruise from where the tib-fib and femur clanked together.”
Despite the injury, Forkner attempted to race last weekend in East Rutherford, as he held a three-point lead in the 250SX East Region Championship over GEICO Honda’s Chase Sexton.
“It popped out a few times in practice and it was really sore,” he continued. “Honestly, I could barely even walk going to the gate for the races. Pretty much, what you saw in the heat race was as fast as I could go and the best I could ride with my knee in control, with me having control of my knee and without it popping out.”
Forkner got a great jump in the main event and even passed Sexton. But as he was battling his teammate Martin Davalos, he jumped too far over the big single, landed hard into the face of the next jump, and that was more than the knee could take. It was over right then.
“Going up to the line, me and Rylee pretty much had a talk along with the guys on the team and had to make up my mind if I wanted to ride around in 12th place or if I wanted to say, ‘It’s now or never and let’s make it happen, let’s send it. If my knee can’t take it, it can’t take it then it can’t take it and I’m done.’ And that’s pretty much what I did.
“I was absolutely sending it as you saw, I was smashing guys on the first lap, I sent it into the first turn. I didn’t really care. I feel like some people are talking about, ‘Oh, the passes were dirty. This and that.’ I heard some podium stuff being said. But I don’t care. It was a three-point championship battle, two races left and my knee is jacked up. You’ve got to expect that stuff is going to happen. I was hanging it out, sending it, I going for it. That’s all I have to say about that. I sent it as hard as I could until my knee couldn’t take it.
“Whenever I jumped and landed into the face of the wall, the thing just buckled. At that point, there is no kind of knee brace… that's going to save it, because that’s what your ACL is supposed to do and it’s gone. Obviously, I’m super bummed and I don’t have a lot to say.”
Forkner confirmed he will undergo surgery soon and is out for the Monster Energy AMA Supercross season finale in Las Vegas this Saturday and the entire Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship season.
“We’ll be back in 2020 supercross. I’m already itching to ride again and I haven’t even gotten surgery yet. It’s going to be a long recovery, but I’ll be seeing you guys in a few months.
“Also, personally, the way that I did by going out there, sending it, doing my best, and giving it all that I had was a much better way than riding around in 10th or 12th and watching myself lose the championship. I gave it all that I had, my knee couldn’t take it. At the end of the day, my confidence going into next season is good. Just knowing that with a hurt knee for the first four laps of that race, I was beating all of the guys I was racing with for the championship. I know that, they know it. They’re going to remember it next season.”
Below is his full post:
[UPDATE: May 2]
Austin Forkner underwent knee surgery to repair a torn ACL suffered in Nashville. Following the surgery, Forkner posted this Instagram video post surgery with the caption: "Some post op pain and loopyness hahaha. Went all good tho but as expected my meniscus was quite a bit more shredded after the grinding and movement in New York. Onward and upward #noticethenasashorts."