Hays _ who missed 2 bobsled World Cups with bad hamstring _ crashes in training

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hays injured in bobsled training crash

WINTERBERG, Germany — U.S. Olympic bobsled hopeful Todd Hays crashed in training Wednesday and is expected to miss the weekend World Cup races because of what was preliminarily diagnosed as a concussion.

The 40-year-old driver from Del Rio, Texas, was held in a German hospital overnight for observation.

“Any time an athlete suffers a head injury you want to take every precaution to make sure that the injury is not more serious than originally thought,” U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Chief Executive Officer Darrin Steele said in a release. “Once Todd and the medical personnel treating him feel it is safe, he will return to the ice.”

Training which was halted for about 15 minutes after Hays’ crash, which came amid poor visibility brought on by foggy, rainy conditions, although the USBSF did not say what exactly led to the mishap. The other three members of Hays’ four-man team were not injured.

Hays has not been officially ruled out for this weekend, though his status is doubtful at best.

“We will wait until we know it is safe for him and his crew to return to action,” Steele said. “Crashing is a part of the sport and we are reminded from time to time that there is an element of danger that cannot be taken for granted.”

Hays had just rejoined the World Cup circuit after missing two events because of a strained left hamstring sustained on the tour’s season-opening weekend at Park City, Utah.

He was planning to rejoin fellow U.S. drivers Steve Holcomb and John Napier on the tour.

Holcomb is the top-ranked driver in four-man bobsled and is currently second in the World Cup two-man standings. Napier is fifth in both disciplines. Hays is ranked ninth in four-man and 10th in two-man.

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