BMX Big Air favorite Zack Warden has pulled out of X Games Austin after a knee injury earlier this month. Warden was riding dirt trails during a Red Bull athlete training camp at Woodward West on April 3 when he over-shot the landing on a 360, breaking his left leg.
"I ended up breaking my tibia plateau right beneath the knee, and just got six pins and a plate put in," Warden said following surgery on Monday. "I'll be out for three to four months before I should be able to start riding again."
Warden was aiming for his sixth X Games medal in as many years and his third gold in BMX Big Air, following his wins at X Games Foz do Iguaçu and X Games Barcelona in 2013.
"Unfortunately I'll be out for Austin, but as long as my recovery is going well, I'll be there hanging out," Warden said.
Fans wondering how he planned to follow up on the backflip bikeflip to late tailwhip combination he debuted over the MegaRamp gap in 2013 will have to wait.
"I'm bummed because I was working on some new tricks," Warden said. "But I took a bad spill and landed on my knee the wrong way, and it is what it is."
So, who will he be rooting for, now that he'll be on the sidelines in Austin?
"I'm real good friends with everyone who rides in Big Air, so it's hard to pick a favorite," Warden said. "In any contest, whether I'm competing or not, I just really want to see everybody put down their best runs and walk away. Any time everyone brings some new tricks and stays safe, it's a good contest."
X Games BMX Big Air veteran Andy Buckworth will make a return to BMX Big Air to fill Warden's invite spot.