With the battle heating up for the 125 National title, the last thing anyone wants to see, is another rider’s hopes dashed due to an injury. Top contender, Chad Reed, had his season flash before his eyes last week at Southwick, when his shoulder unexpectedly popped out of it’s socket as he was coming into the whoop section. With pain being at an excruciating level, the Australian had to throw in the towel, and pull his Yamaha YZ250F to the side of the sandy Southwick track. Much to everyone’s surprise, Reed showed up on the line for the second moto. It looks like it’s going to take a lot more than a dislocated shoulder to keep this Aussie from winning his second title in one year.
TransWorld Motocross: What exactly did you do to your shoulder?
Chad Reed: I dislocated it in the first moto at Southwick. I was really disappointed. I didn’t even crash, and to receive an injury like this is disheartening.
TWMX: How did you dislocate it?
CR: I just landed hard off of a jump, and as I leaned back to go through the whoops, it came out. When it came out, it felt really weak. I tried to ride, but it was super hard to keep control because my arm had no strength in it. I was saying to myself, “What is going on with this thing?” I pulled over and I knew something was wrong. Luckily, one of the mechanics was there.
TWMX: Then what happened?
CR: I said to him, “Get a doctor! Something is not right.” I have never had my shoulder dislocate before. It was one of the most painful things I have ever felt in my entire life. I could not move my arm, and everything got numb. I knew right away that something was wrong. You kind of get a feel for your body. After so many crashes, you know when something is wrong with it. It was so uncomfortable. I was grinding my teeth just to get off my bike. The worst part of it is, they could not put it back in on the side of the track. They transported me back to my truck in the Asterisk Mule. The side of a motocross track is not the smoothest road. It was so bumpy!
TWMX: When did you get it put back in? At your truck? Or, did you have to go to the hospital to have it put back in?
CR: The Asterisk doctor put it back into place for me. My doctor/trainer Jeff Spencer was there, and I am so glad that he was. Once I got the arm back into place, a lot of the pain went away. I never really thought about racing, but Fred Bramblett from OMS said to me, “You should turn up on the starting line, just so the other riders think you are going to race.” I could not even lift my arm up, never mind go out for 35 minutes at Southwick. Then when I got to the starting line I said to myself, “I did not come all this way to throw this championship away like this.” (Note: Chad rode to a third place finish in the second moto at Southwick for a tenth overall). With Bubba going out that first moto, I had to do it. In the second moto, it did not hurt that much at all. It was just very, very weak. It was kind of scary, because I knew it was possible for it to happen again. The doctor said, “You have a 95 percent chance of it coming out again.” I said, “Well there is a 5 percent chance it will stay in. So, I am going to give it a go.” I did not let it hang out at all, I just tried to ride around the track and do laps. I actually felt better than I did the first moto!
TWMX: Does Jeff Spencer have you doing anything special for the next two weeks?
CR: I am going to rest it a whole lot and also try to do some strength exercises for it. Next Monday, I am going to Tim Ferry’s house to do some riding with him. That should be fun.
TWMX: Did you have an MRI done to find out the extent of the damage? Is there surgery in the future?
CR: Basically, with a normal shoulder dislocation, you have a couple of things that can happen. The first, is when you have the tendons and ligaments breaking, and the other is when the tendons and ligaments are just stretched out and pulled away from the bone. I was luccky that I had a good doctor there and that he was able to put my arm back in quickly. Having him there, no doubt prevented further damage to my arm. In my case, I pulled the ligaments and the tendons off of the bone. It sounds crazy, but that is normal for a shoulder dislocation. I just need to make it strong and make sure that it does not come out again. If it comes back out, I am going to have to have full reconstruction done on it. If it stays in, I can go in after the outdoor season and have the doctor clean it up with a scope.
TWMX: In hindsight, is there anything that you think that you could have done to prevent this injury from happening?
CR: No, because it was really unexpected that it happened in the first place. Especially when you don’t crash! It’s just one of those things that happen. It just happened that Bubba’s bike broke and my shoulder came out. Either way, it’s all part of racing.
TWMX: Do you think there is a rivalry right now between you and Bubba?
CR: Yeah, I think it is starting to build up. I am just starting to learn the tracks, and get used to how I should ride against these guys.
TWMX: The competition seems to be healthy between you and Bubba. Is there any animosity between you two?
CR: No, I don’t think so. We speak to each other on the podium and whenever we see each other. It’s just one of those things that everyone is competitive, and we all want to win races. I don’t go out of my way to go talk to him and he sure doesn’t come over and hang out and talk with me. I would say it’s healthy.
TWMX: Good luck in your run for the title. Hope the shoulder gets better, and you can give Bubba and the rest of the pack a good fight for it
CR: Thank you. I am going to give it everything I’ve got!