Just days after Hendrick Motorsports' Chase Elliott took to social media to let fans know that he had had an operation performed on his right shoulder to correct an "old injury", leaving him in a sling for the time being, Joe Gibbs Racing's Denny Hamlin was also revealed to have undergone a shoulder procedure after the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season ended.
Hamlin's arthroscopic surgery, which was said to be successful, is not the first shoulder surgery he has had in recent years.
Just like last time, he was able to wait until the offseason to have it done. He revealed before the 2019 season ended that he planned to undergo a surgery on a torn labrum in his right shoulder, and he was able to have a successful procedure between the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
Will Denny Hamlin return for the start of the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season?
While no two procedures are alike, it should be no surprise that the driver of the No. 11 Toyota is expected to make a full recovery and be good to go for the start of the 2024 season in February.
He did mention that the surgery was a bit worse than he thought it was going to be.
As for whether or not it will impact his performance, he returned after his surgery in 2020 and immediately won the Daytona 500. So suffice it to say that the offseason should give him plenty of time to recover.
The three-time Daytona 500 winner is not the first driver to undergo an offseason shoulder surgery in recent years, with 23XI Racing's Bubba Wallace doing so between the 2021 and 2022 seasons and responding with a runner-up finish in the season opener.
Aside from Wallace's late season suspension in 2022, neither driver missed any races during the seasons after their surgeries.
Elliott is also expected to make a full recovery and return for the start of the 2024 season as he aims to bounce back after a winless and playoff-less 2023 campaign which saw him miss six races due to a fractured tibia he suffered in a snowboarding accident -- when he could not wait until the offseason for surgery.
Elliott was also suspended for a race for intentionally wrecking Hamlin at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
2024 NASCAR Cup Series action is scheduled to get underway on Sunday, February 4 with the Busch Light Clash preseason exhibition race at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The season is officially scheduled to get underway on Sunday, February 18 with the 66th annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Begin a free trial of FuboTV and don't miss either event on Fox!