LAS VEGAS — A few weeks ago, Austin Forkner appeared on his way to winning the Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250 East regional championship. Now his season is over.
Forkner confirmed in an Instagram post that the ACL in his left knee is completely torn and that he will soon undergo season-ending knee surgery.
Forkner entered the Nashville round of the series on April 6 with a 26-point lead, but was injured in a crash during qualifying. After a two-week break, Forkner attempted to ride in the penultimate round of the season at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., but the stress on the injured knee was too much for him to overcome.
“The extent of my knee was a fully torn ACL. Not a half tear, not a quarter tear. It was fully torn and that’s a big difference,” Forkner said. “Fully torn is tough and there is no stability. I also tore my meniscus and I think a slight tear and beat up my MCL. I also chipped some cartilage off of my femur and had a massive bone bruise from where the tib-fib and femur clanked together.”
Forkner entered the MetLife Stadium round with a three-point lead, but still competed.
“It popped out a few times in practice and it was really sore,” he said. “Honestly, I could barely even walk going to the gate for the races. Pretty much, what you saw in the heat race was as fast as I could go and the best I could ride with my knee in control, with me having control of my knee and without it popping out.”
Forkner qualified third and was running second when his knee let go less than three minutes into the main event.
“Whenever I jumped and landed into the face of the wall, the thing just buckled. At that point, there is no kind of knee brace… that’s going to save it, because that’s what your ACL is supposed to do and it’s gone,” Forkner said. “Obviously, I’m super-bummed and I don’t have a lot to say.”
Forkner will also miss the motocross season and plans to return in time for the 2020 Supercross campaign.
“We’ll be back in 2020 supercross. I’m already itching to ride again and I haven’t even gotten surgery yet,” he said. “It’s going to be a long recovery, but I’ll be seeing you guys in a few months.”