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Joe Gibbs Racing | Denny Hamlin could return soon

Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin (back) said there is a 50-50 chance he will return to the Sprint Cup Series this weekend at Richmond International Raceway. He's almost 100 percent sure he'll start the May 5 race at Talladega Superspeedway. Hamlin will undergo a follow-up exam on his fractured back Tuesday, April 23, or Wednesday, April 24, and if the exam shows bone growth, he will return at Richmond if doctors give him clearance. He won't have another scan for two weeks after this week's scan. Hamlin said there is no consideration to him starting a race and then putting in a backup driver at Richmond because he'd lose at least two laps making the exchange. He's been off pain medication for a week and a half now. Hamlin is now 25th in points heading into this weekend's race at Richmond.

Fantasy Tip: If Hamlin returns this week, it probably wouldn't be wise to throw him into your starting lineup immediately. We'd be more comfortable seeing how he fares for a few races before considering him again. Be patient with this situation, since there are plenty of other drivers worth considering over Hamlin until we know he's fully healthy and challenging for wins again.

2013-04-22 09:51:23 | Source: - David Newton

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