Jockey playing waiting game as recovery continues
Ryan Hatch is facing up to being on his back in hospital into the new year as he continues to recover from a fall at Cheltenham last week.
The jockey remains in Bristol Southmead, where he is being treated for a number of issues, the most problematic at this stage being a haemotoma on his spine.
"I've done one of the bones in my neck and one of my vertebrae, in between my shoulderblades - T6," he told At The Races. "I've fractured my sternum and I've got a haematoma on my spinal cord which is causing the most trouble at the minute really.
"It's not ideal. I've been laid on my back for the last week and I will be for quite a few more weeks, which is quite annoying, but it's got to be done unfortunately."
A decision on whether surgery will be required is yet to be made and Hatch added: "It's very up in the air at the minute. We've just got to wait for the haematoma to completely disappear and take it from there really. By the time it's gone this vertebra might have fixed itself and there might be no need to operate, so we'll play it by ear.
"It might be a case of saying that once the haematoma has gone, the spine is in good enough shape to heal itself within a few weeks, or it might need a bit of help and they might stick a few rods in it, but until the haematoma has gone, they're just going to leave it."
Hatch sounded a remarkably upbeat tone despite his painful injuries and says the support of fellow riders who have visited him in hospital has been appreciated.
"These things happen in jump racing and you've just got to get on with it - there's no good moping around," he said.
"I've had loads of support. It's quite handy being in a hospital in Bristol which is on the M5 going to all of the southern tracks and the lads are popping in after racing which is really nice. It's great to see everybody."