Moloney 'going the right way' after Sedgefield fall causes nerve damage
Jump jockey Paul Moloney, denied the chance to add to his fine record over the Grand National fences on Saturday, is unclear when he will be able to return from an injury that has kept him out of action since the end of January, but hopes it will be sooner rather than later.
Moloney, stable jockey to Evan Williams, was hurt when the trainer's Going Concern suffered a fatal fall in a handicap chase at Sedgefield on January 29.
The rider broke his collarbone and some ribs, but it is the lasting nerve damage that has forced his prolonged period on the sidelines.
"It's just been slow," said Moloney, who made the frame in the National every year from 2009 to 2015.
"I've had nerve damage in my arm and the physio is going well, but I can't put a timescale on how long I'll be off. It's disappointing to have missed Aintree.
"It's taking a lot of time, a lot longer than I anticipated, but everything is going the right way and when I saw my specialist recently he was very happy. Him and the physio have both said I'm probably 85 per cent there and it's going the right way."
Paul Moloney's finishing positions in the last eight Grand Nationals
The rider, on 34 winners for the season before suffering his injury, added: "I broke my collarbone, tore pec muscles in my chest and also broke ribs, but they're all good now. The problem I had is the AC joint in my shoulder and the shoulder blade, which was causing the nerve pain. A month ago the bones were fine, it's just the nerve damage.
"I'm on strong medication for the nerve pain, but I'm weaning off it and things are going the right way. Rather than getting what I was getting every day and twice and three times a day in pain, I'm now only getting once every two or three days.
"I was wanting to try to get back for Aintree. The specialist said I wouldn't be back for Cheltenham, but I might make Aintree. But when I saw him during the week of Cheltenham he said he couldn't see me making Aintree, so it's just frustrating.
"I'm getting physio from someone who works with the specialist and it's going well. The specialist wants me to start riding out when I'm ready and then I'll speak to him to see how it is."
Moloney, 38, enjoyed the biggest victory of his career in 2006 when the Williams-trained State Of Play won the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury.