Op­er­a­tion puts brakes on Hills rally driver

Hills Gazette - - SPORT -

BRAD Markovic is re­cov­er­ing from back surgery and will miss the penul­ti­mate rounds of the CAMS Aus­tralian Rally Cham­pi­onship and WA Rally Cham­pi­onship.

The Kala­munda driver has suf­fered from long-term back pain that was made worse when he frac­tured two ver­te­brae in WARC’s Sa­fari Rally three years ago.

“Un­for­tu­nately I ag­gra­vated it again re­cently and ended up in such un­be­liev­able pain that when I fi­nally went to hospi­tal and had the MRI, the disc had com­pressed the nerves so much im­me­di­ate surgery was the only op­tion,” Markovic said.

“I tried to bar­gain with the doc­tors to just give me some in­jec­tions in the disc to get me through the next three months, but they said I could end up with per­ma­nent numb­ness if I left it.”

While he’s dis­ap­pointed he won’t com­pete at this week­end’s WARC round, the Kir­rup Stages, and the fol­low­ing week­end’s ARC event, Rally SA, Markovic said his fo­cus was now Novem­ber’s Rally Aus­tralia.

Last year he en­tered the FIA World Rally Cham­pi­onship sec­tion of the three-day event on the NSW Coffs Coast and scored the tro­phy for third fastest Aus­tralian.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to be­ing right in time for Rally Aus­tralia and I’m slowly get­ting there,” he said.

“This week I was even able to drive a car for the first time since the surgery and that was a huge re­lief. At this stage, though, I’m only al­lowed to sit for 20 min­utes at any one time, so that makes do­ing recce a lit­tle hard.”

Markovic, who is the high­est­placed WA driver on the ARC leader­board, has been in­un­dated with mes­sages since the surgery.

“A huge thank you for all the sup­port,” he said.

“I look for­ward to catch­ing up with ev­ery­one soon and can't wait to get back there ral­ly­ing as soon as I get the all clear.”

Markovic also thanked his spon­sors.

Brad Markovic be­fore his op­er­a­tion.

Brad Markovic in hospi­tal.

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