By Tyler Bowers
I was planning on releasing this statement after the East/West shootout in Vegas, but unfortunately things have had to move up. I will be unable to compete in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship and the remaining rounds of Monster Energy Supercross to undergo surgery to my lower back. I have been dealing with two compressed discs as well as displacement of the L5 vertebrae resulting in sharp pain and numbness down my leg while sitting, driving, bending over, twisting or when I lower my chin.
The pain has now become constant and I have been unable to find any relief through medication, therapy, exercise, etc. I wear flip flops often because I am unable to bend down to put on or tie my shoes without severe pain. I have been mis-shifting my bike which led me to try a smaller boot size, but it was actually me losing the ability to control my foot. I now have sensations that something is crawling up my leg, but when I look down there is nothing there. My leg has now begun to tremble and it gives out on me as well. Never wanting to quit, I went to Houston to give it my best effort. Throughout practice, I struggled to deal with the pain as well as frustration from the limits my body has placed on me. I pushed myself during the Heat race and felt horrible afterwards. In the Main, it was evident that it was not safe for myself or the other racers to have me on the track. Mitch, Dr. Navarro and I spoke after the race and it was decided that I should move my surgery up and allow me to be able to recover from my back issue sooner, allowing me to focus on a strong future rather than continuing to struggle through this current season.
I feel gutted having to pull out of the series knowing how much work goes into my Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team. This opportunity has been a dream come true for me considering at one point in my career I was forced to split and sell firewood to make ends meet. I told Mitch when he signed me that I will not be sidelined by broken bones as I have raced three days after having collarbone surgery and five days after having ankle surgery in the past. However, it is difficult to not feel like I have let my team down. Every member of the team from the crew at the shop to the race team work so hard each day and I will be thinking of them as I do my part to get back to being able to make their efforts pay off.
I want to say thank you to my team and sponsors for their continued support. My fans have been awesome and are one of the reasons I pushed so hard to continue to be at the races. I’d like to congratulate Cooper on his championship. I want to thank my doctors and staff including Dr. Navarro, Nataly & Amanda who worked so hard to get me through as long as possible. A heartfelt thank you to my Queen and future wife, Bradi for all that she does to get me through everyday, it’s always an adventure!
Thanks for reading,