Joey Crown talks injury, recovery and future plans

A tale as old as time, uh, as old as racing exists. Racer finds success at the amateur level, from 50cc motorcycles all the way up to the Open Pro Sport class, only to suffer injury after injury after turning pro. Michigan native Joey Crown admits he’s not the only runner this has happened to. His latest injury left him with double vision in his left eye, which makes driving difficult. Undeterred, Joey resorted to riding for fun with the left side of his goggles covered (on a private track, where he won’t encounter other riders) while doing therapy to improve his vision. His goal is to come back and stay healthy for a whole season. In the meantime, he learned useful skills working for his father’s suspension company.

Runner X: So the last time we heard from you was last November when you had a really bad start, can you tell us about that?
Joey Crown: Yeah, in November I was training for the Paris Supercross at Club MX. It was two days before I was supposed to fly out for this race, I traded into a whoop section and jumped into a straight. Landed fine, didn’t crash, but then Enzo [Lopes] was right there, third gear wide open and boned me. Fortunately, he was fine, he got up well. But the impact broke my radius, ulna, broke my elbow, broke my humor, broke my eye socket, also broke my nose. So I was in the hospital for about ten days and had, I think, five hospital surgeries between my arm and my eye. It’s been a long road since I had another surgery on my eye socket to put a plaque on. Right now I’m just trying to recover from my double vision in my eye. My arm is fine, I think I’ll probably get my gear out, but I was able to mountain bike, it’s not 100% but it’s good enough to ride safely and work.

Its good. How bad is your eye? You said you have double vision, is that something they can treat, or will it get better over time?
Yeah, they said if it doesn’t heal, there’s an operation that might fix it. The surgery would be to adjust the muscles in my eye so that it points correctly. But I’m quite confident in the improvements with the eye exercises and therapy to stretch and strengthen the muscles, and it’s improved a lot. So, I’m pretty confident that I should be good. And talking to a few other people who had similar injuries with their eye socket, they said for up to a year they had to deal with it, but after that they were good.

Wiley C. Thompson