Beadman cleared to return to Australia
Hong Kong: Top jockey Darren Beadman has been given the all-clear to fly and hopes to return home to Australia to continue his rehabilitation from a head injury he suffered in a fall in Hong Kong in February.
Beadman fractured a cheekbone when he came off his mount in a Sha Tin barrier trial but a more serious brain injury was detected in the aftermath.
Darren Beadman: injured in a barrier trial at Sha Tin in FebruaryPICTURE: Racingandsports.com.au
The trauma has affected his balance and speech but his latest MRI showed enough improvement for doctors to clear him to fly home.
"The specialist said there were some signs of progress and there is hope that with the right rest and rehabilitation, I will recover," Beadman told the South China Morning Post.
"And I have been cleared to fly again. I've been in touch with Nathan Gibbs in Australia, who works with a lot of the top footballers and I'm looking to go back to Sydney and do my rehab with him and I'll be able to get any further treatment that's needed."
Beadman told the newspaper he had been forced to make a conscious effort to slow down all aspects of his life, including speech.
"I've slowed down generally and I've slowed my speech right down so I can keep it under control," he said.
"The problem with a closed head injury is that nobody can see what's going on inside - that's why you need the MRI and I'm happy that they can see progress but to me it feels much the same.
"The balance problems, the vertigo, the headaches are all still there. It's very frustrating, but that's where I'm at."
Riding again is not foremost in his mind. "A psychologist at the hospital asked me what my aims are with my treatment and asked me to prioritise them," Beadman said.
"I said that first was my health and my family and we'll worry about it later whether my career continues or not. The main thing I have to do is get my body right again."
A dualMelbourne Cup-winning rider, Beadman left Australia for Hong Kong in 2007, initially on a three-month contract, and has been there ever since.