CHECKING IN ON CLOUT
After last year’s ProMX champ took the biggest hit we’ve seen for a while, Luke Clout is doing his best to get back on the bike and back to racing. We can only imagine what it’s like to break both your tibia and fibula in the same leg, not to mention having to scramble out of the way of oncoming pack of bikes! We’re not doctors, but we’re sure this one hurt. Take Clout’s word for it:
Coming into the first moto at Round 2 of the 2022 Pro MX Championship, CDR Yamaha Monster Energy Team rider, Luke Clout, was on top of the world. He had won the opening round of 2022 in Wonthaggi and was in good form as he set off to defend his 2021 championship. But things change fast in the racing world. On the second lap of race one at the Gum Valley round of the ProMX, Clout lost control of his YZ450F and was violently thrown to the ground in a high-speed fall that had onlookers drop-jawed. The reigning ProMX MX1 champion was on the ground in pain, his title defence in tatters and facing a long stint on the sidelines. It wasn’t the day he or his team had envisaged just minutes before.
With RaceSafe on hand, Luke was immediately taken to Mackay Hospital to have his injuries assessed and then flown back to Brisbane where a team of specialist doctors swung into action. The diagnoses were bleak, and the break didn’t look good. Lower limb injuries aren’t much fun and are known for a long recovery period while the body heals. The past six weeks has seen him anchored to the couch, but he is now ready to start the long climb back to the top of Australian motocross and supercross.
Now that Clout is starting to bare weight as he gets back on his feet, let’s check in on the champ.
What was the injury from the crash and the extend of the damage?
I had got a spiral fracture of the tibia as well as a clean break on the fibula as well as some damage to the top of my ankle. Doctors say it was quite a complicated break on my tibia as it was fractured as well as shattered in parts, so they had to assess the best way to tackle that. Fortunately, the fibula and ankle didn’t turn out to be as bad and were just clean breaks.
How did the surgery go?
My tibia required a rebuild with a rod and screws put in, while my ankle was a quick clean up and the fibula was more about ensuring it was stable and aligned. Doctors were pleased with how things went and feel that I should make a full recovery and everything looked good.
I also want to pass on my thanks to Simon Maas and everyone at RaceSafe for looking after me. It’s amazing that a team of doctors come to our races and will do whatever they can to ensure we are safe and in good hands. They do a great job and it’s comforting knowing that when something like this happens, we have trained professionals to step in and provide what’s needed.
So, what happens with the recovery?
I just left my six-week check-up, and they are really happy with how its progressing. Structurally, everything is aligned and well supported, and I have been given the all-clear to start doing some exercises to strengthen and rebuild my leg muscles. I have just started walking on it and putting some weight through it and aside from jumping or running, the doctors say I can get back into the gym or the pool, so it’s positive news so far.
I’m sure they will be some pain and niggles as I go through my rehab, but I just have to tolerate that as I regain strength. I have lost some leg muscle and general movement from it being in a cast and not being able to walk on it, but the plan at this stage is to do plenty of exercise and get strength into it for the next six weeks and then see if I can get back on a bike.
Are you looking to come back before the end of this season’s ProMX Championship?
Never say never, and I would expect to be back on a bike in August around the final rounds, but I don’t think I will be up to 100% so it’s unlikely I will race. I’m a racer and I want to win so unless I feel that I’m back to speed and fitness, I won’t come back and just plan on being ready for the Australian Supercross Championship later in the year.
Since you have some time on your hands, have you been following the ProMX?
I’m a terrible spectator but I’m a fan of the sport so I have been keeping up to date with what’s happening. I watched Albury on TV and I’m probably not the person to watch that with as I feel I was in good form and would much rather be out there and racing so I was probably pretty cranky.
I was at Maitland East Coast MX series round at the weekend to catch up with Craig Dack as well as support Aaron Tanti at the event and that was good. I hadn’t seen them since my crash so it was nice to see everyone again. I won’t be in Adelaide this weekend so I can keep my recovery going but plan on being at a few rounds of the ProMX to watch and support the CDR Yamaha team where I can.
This has been my first major injury since 2016 so I have had a good run over a long period of time. But it’s when you can’t do something you love that you realise how much you miss it and I really want to get back on the bike and be racing. I understand that will take some time as I need to be thorough with my rehab, but I plan on being back better than ever as I’m as motivated as I have ever been to race and win championships.