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Dale Earnhardt Jr. tweets, 'Docs preaching patience'

LONG POND, Pa. -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. indicated Saturday that his return to racing is not imminent as he continues to treatment for concussion-type symptoms.

Earnhardt posted the following in a tweet Saturday morning:

Earnhardt, 41, is missing his third consecutive race after suffering balance issues and nausea. Wrecks June 12 at Michigan and July 2 at Daytona possibly produced the concussion-type symptoms, he has said.

He missed two races in 2012 because of two concussions in a six-week period.

Doctors at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Medicine Concussion Program are overseeing Earnhardt's treatment.

Alex Bowman substituted for Earnhardt two weeks ago at New Hampshire, and Jeff Gordon has come out of retirement since then to drive the No. 88 car. Gordon, who will turn 45 next Thursday, said Friday at Pocono Raceway that he would race as long as he's needed by Hendrick Motorsports, where he is an equity owner.

Earnhardt, speaking on his "The Dale Jr. Download" podcast Monday, said he won't rush his return. The series goes to the road course at Watkins Glen next week before a week off, followed by races at Bristol, Michigan, Darlington and Richmond.

"There are certain things that you can race through, but one of the things that you cannot race through is concussion-like symptoms," Earnhardt said. "The balance deal is a critical part of being able to drive a race car.

"This process is going to take a little bit longer. ... I'm not going to go against that [doctors'] advice, no matter what. I can't play around at this age. And with my history, I definitely don't need to get cute."

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