Kaii Winkler Suffers Fractured Wrist, Elbow In Biking Accident

After it was reported on the eve of the 2023 U.S. National Championships that teenage phenom Kaii Winkler would miss the competition with an undisclosed injury, the exact nature of Winkler’s status was confirmed to SwimSwam on Tuesday.

Winkler suffered fractures in his left wrist and right elbow on Friday, as he was involved in a biking accident while heading home from morning practice.

Winkler’s father, Dirk, told SwimSwam that Kaii suffered a scaphoid bone fracture in his left wrist and also fractured his radial head in his right elbow. He also needed stitches in his chin.

Winkler was riding home when a car didn’t see him and turned into him, forcing the 17-year-old to swerve in an attempt to evade a collision. He partially hit the front fender of the car and flew over, and attempted to brace the fall with his hands.

“Fortunately, the fractures did not shift the bones after seeing a hand and elbow specialist yesterday,” Dirk said.

Winkler will have his left hand in a cast for four weeks and has already started physical therapy on his right elbow.

He is expected to be out of the water for six weeks, and should be 100 percent healthy by October.

“He was very well prepared and worked hard for these trials and he was obviously devastated, upset and down,” his father said of Kaii having to withdraw from this week’s National Championships. “We are just very grateful that things were not worse and that with the right treatment, a full recovery can be expected.”

Winkler was seeded 12th seed in the 100 free (48.81), 23rd seed in the 200 free (1:49.02), 17th seed in the 100 fly (52.64), and 25th seed in the 50 free (22.49).

Committed to NC State, he is the top-ranked recruit in the boys’ high school class of 2024.

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10 months ago

What a bummer. I was hoping he would go to either worlds or Junior worlds.. and now he’s gonna miss both meets? Jeez. But full recovery by October? I hope he recovers well and comes back stronger for Paris.

Last edited 10 months ago by Tatti
Max Hardie
10 months ago

What a pity, looking forward for a full recovery and hopefully he’ll be back for Paris trials next year.

10 months ago

Self care is really difficult when a teen can’t use either upper limb.

10 months ago

hope he gets better quickly

10 months ago

someone get this kid a car

Reply to  Taa
10 months ago

Or just pay attention to where you’re driving.

Wanna Sprite?
10 months ago

Remember the first time Luca urlando dislocated his shoulder. Doing practices with just kick for a couple weeks straight helped him get a lot stronger lower body and propelled him to a great sophomore season with Georgia. If anything this injury is just going to motivate Winkler to come back even faster and stronger. Rooting for the kid fr

10 months ago

That totally sucks! After working so hard! Hate when these things happen. He will rock it as soon as he comes back.

10 months ago

Can’t wait for the comeback😈

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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