Ruby Walsh: Davy Russell has the mentality to recover from latest nasty injury

Davy Russell was one of several jockeys to suffer serious falls at the weekend

Davy Russell Envoi Allen Cheltenham Festival March 11, 2020


Ruby Walsh believes Davy Russell has the mentality to recover quickly from his latest injury setback after the experienced jockey suffered a heavy fall from Doctor Duffy at the first fence in the Munster National on Sunday.

Jack Kennedy was also in the wars at Limerick, parting ways with Etincelle Lioterie when three flights from home in the opening Listed noice hurdle as the pair were painfully reminded about the dangers of Jumps racing.

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Kennedy, who has only recently returned from a broken leg, sustained a fractured collarbone and is set for a number of weeks on the sidelines while it has been confirmed that Russell has damaged bones in his neck and could miss up to two months.

Speaking on the latest episode of Paddy Power’s From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, Ruby explained how the recovery process will be longer for Russell as an older rider but his former rival is well-equipped to deal with the mental stresses involved in rehabilitation.

I said when I saw it the first time that it looked like a neck injury, and when news emerged that it appeared to be a shoulder injury I watched it back thinking ‘I missed that’. But he didn’t fall on his shoulder, he fell on his head.

He didn’t get his arm out, which might have dislocated his shoulder, but instead landed square on his head and I was wondering – with the pain threshold and willingness to soldier on that Davy Russell has – he most certainly wasn’t going to lie on the ground for two whole circuits with a dislocated shoulder. He would have been up and off the track, so the signs were that it was something more serious.

It is a neck injury and he’ll be out for a couple of months. I did the same thing, and it was two months that I was out for. Painful, but definitely recoverable from.

Davy Russell was just coming back from two months out, but the older you get the easier it is to refocus and not allow injuries to affect you as much mentally. But definitely physically, the older you get the harder it is to recover.

Things take longer to heal, and even the rehab is more difficult. We’re not that old – Davy Russell is just about 41, but it just takes more time to recover.

Ruby Walsh Bacardys Leopardstown

I found that my legs and arms – things is broke in my late 30s – they just took longer to heal than they did in my mid 20s. That’s biology, and that’s just life.

Mentally, he will be well able to cope with the latest injury. I’d say its probably tougher on Jack Kennedy mentally, because he is so young and having to face another injury. But with a broken collarbone, he will probably be looking to try and make the two-day Down Royal Festival that starts on November 01.

If you really push a collarbone, and you’re lucky with where the fracture is, he could get back and he’ll be looking at Envois Allen and Presenting Percy – the horses that maybe Davy Russell would have been riding. That will really be pushing Jack, whereas Davy with a neck injury at his age is looking at two months whatever he does.


Dr Ruby

In another incident, I turned up at Naas hospital one night with a broken vertebrae in my back, and I was trying to convince the doctor of that!

The pain was coming out of my chest, but I was trying to explain what had happened to me and he wasn’t having it.

He just told me I had acid in my stomach and I was smoking too much! Couple of weeks later they diagnosed that it was a fractured vertebrae – but they just wouldn’t listen to me at the time!

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