Denny Hamlin undergoes knee surgery for ACL tear

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Joe Gibbs Racing said Denny Hamlin underwent successful surgery Monday to repair the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. The team said Hamlin will make a full recovery in time for the start of the season-opening Daytona 500 in February.

Hamlin injured the knee while playing basketball before the regular-season finale at Richmond International Raceway. He elected to race with the injury through the end of the season and won the Chase for the Sprint Cup opener at Chicagoland Speedway. Monday’s surgery was performed by Dr. Patrick Connor of OrthoCarolina.

It’s the second time in nearly six years that Hamlin has suffered an ACL tear while playing basketball. He injured his left knee in the 2010 preseason and delayed the operation until after the sixth race.