Joe Gibbs says no timetable on Kyle Busch's return to NASCAR

NASCAR team owner Joe Gibbs says Kyle Busch was in good spirits after having surgery on broken leg

NASCAR team owner Joe Gibbs said Sunday that doctors told him surgery on driver Kyle Busch's broken right leg "went very well."

But Gibbs said there was no timetable for when Busch would return to driving Gibbs' No. 18 Toyota in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series.

Busch, 29, will miss the series' season-opening Daytona 500 on Sunday. Speaking to reporters before the race, Gibbs said veteran Matt Crafton would replace Busch on Sunday but that the team had yet to decide on a substitute driver for other upcoming races.

"We had so much going on last night it was just to get everything arranged as best we could for today," Gibbs said.

Gibbs said Busch was in good spirits before the surgery at a local hospital Saturday night.

Busch "was kind of light-hearted, joking around with me, talking about wanting to get back in the car," said Gibbs, the NFL Hall of Fame coach who owns a four-car Cup team.

Busch suffered the broken leg, and a broken left foot, when his car was involved in a 10-car crash during a race Saturday in NASCAR's second-level Xfinity Series. His car slid across the infield and slammed head-on into an inside retaining wall.

Asked when Busch might leave the hospital, Gibbs said "whenever he feels like he can travel, we'll get him back to Charlotte" in North Carolina where the team is based.

Busch, whose nicknames include Rowdy, has had numerous run-ins with other drivers in his career. But reigning Cup champion Kevin Harvick told reporters that the NASCAR garage was supporting Busch regardless.

"Whether you like or dislike or somebody on the racetrack does not ever interfere with the fact of doing what's right" in a case like this, Harvick said. "This garage is open arms no matter who it is. You don't ever want to see people hurt."

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