Arrow McLaren team principal Gavin Ward is hesitant to address David Malukas' future with the IndyCar team, citing the severity of the injury being worse than first anticipated.

Malukas was brought in near the end of the 2023 IndyCar season to replace Felix Rosenqvist in the team's No. 6 Chevrolet, after the repercussions from the Alex Palou contract issue.

However, a mountain bike accident in February caused injuries that necessitated surgery on Malukas' left wrist, making him unable for race weekends or testing since then.

Arrow McLaren has subsequently relied significantly on Callum Ilott, who is also competing in the FIA World Endurance Championship with Team Jota. Ilott has participated in many team tests, as well as replacing for Malukas in St. Petersburg and the non-points event at The Thermal Club.

McLaren admits Malukas injury “more serious than we thought”

Due to a scheduling problem with the WEC, Ilott delegated responsibility for the Long Beach race, which Malukas was expected to return for, to reigning Formula 2 champion Theo Pourchaire.

Pourchaire said on Friday that he was hired "to drive for the next two races, to replace David," which included next weekend's event at Barber Motorsports Park. He eventually backpedaled, stating that his position for next weekend is dependant on Malukas' health.

In an exclusive roundtable discussion on Saturday afternoon attended exclusively by Motorsport.com, the Associated Press, the Indianapolis Star, and NBC Sports, team boss Zak Brown and Ward presented the most recent report on Malukas.

"The team has been very supportive of David, and it's been certainly an unfortunate situation," Ward told reporters. "What's more terrible is that his injuries are much more severe than we originally suspected.

"So, a large part of our attention has been on trying to support him in any way we can with his recuperation, but we've also spent a lot of time here making sure we have competitive drivers in that No. 6 car.

"Unfortunately, there's a lot of ambiguity right now. We have Theo in there; he's doing an excellent job under challenging conditions."

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Ward went on to say Ilott "did a good job" and that "the silver lining is some great talent" that he can rely on.

Malukas out for six weeks following wrist surgery | RACER

When questioned about balancing Malukas' health with doing what's best for the club's future, with the idea that this setback may enable the squad to move on, Ward responded: "We're having to make difficult decisions, and I think there's too much uncertainty to speculate."

"We're trying our best to take care of him. We've gotten as much rehab, therapy, and assistance as we can, but at the end of the day, we need to focus on the team's performance."

When pushed to confirm the likelihood of parting ways, Ward said, "We don't know."

Brown subsequently verified that Malukas' arm is still in a cast and that the pins are anticipated to be removed this week.

"The truth is the uncertainty," Ward said. "Unfortunately, it is a serious injury with an uncertain outcome right now. Can't really answer yes or no."

With Malukas questionable for the month of May, Motorsport.com questioned about the backup plan, which might involve Ilott returning to run the Indy 500, bringing Sporting Director Tony Kanaan out of retirement, or calling on a veteran like J.R. Hildebrand.

That was immediately followed by another publication discussing Kanaan's role and how it would benefit the four-car squad, which will include 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson, who is making his Indy 500 debut.

"There's that and Tony adds the value to all four cars by not being focused on himself, but he's certainly someone [to look at]," he remarked.

"I think we've got a lot of different scenarios that we're working through."