Report: Denny Hamlin leaves hospital

Updated: March 26, 2013, 11:23 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Denny Hamlin was released from this hospital Monday night following a one-day stay after sustaining a compression fracture of his lower back in a crash at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., on Sunday, USA Today Sports reported.

Hamlin was wearing a back brace when he walked out of Loma Linda University Medical Center, according to the report, which also stated that Hamlin had difficulty breathing when talking to reporters.

Hamlin was involved in the crash with former Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Joey Logano on the last lap Sunday, colliding with a section of the track wall that did not have a SAFER barrier.

"The position I was in, I couldn't breathe at all," Hamlin told USA Today Sports on Monday night. "I'm still having a hard time breathing. Literally, when I felt a pop, I couldn't move at all and I knew I had to get flat to my back to be able to breathe again. That's why I rushed out and just laid flat on the ground to start breathing again."

Hamlin is set to meet with Dr. Jerry Petty on Wednesday or Thursday, according to the report.

"He's going to spend tomorrow looking at scans to distinguish what the next step is," Hamlin said. "We're kind of leaving the analyzing for him on what to do either surgery-wise or just stick with a brace and let it heal itself. Either way, obviously, both of them take a lot of time."

"I don't want to make it worse," Hamlin added. "It's not worth that."

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