By Jon Lees
Australia: Leading Melbourne jockey Michael Walker screamed at surgeons to “cut off my leg” to take away the pain he was experiencing in the wake of a racing fall.
Walker, the 25-time G1 winning rider who partnered Prince Of Arran in two of his Melbourne Cup near-misses, has been in Dandenong Hospital since last week when he suffered a fractured fibula and torn ACL in an incident at Pakenham.
He subsequently developed Compartment Syndrome, a painful and potentially serious condition caused by bleeding or swelling in the muscles, which resulted in the 37-year-old having to undergo emergency surgery.
“I was screaming to them to cut off my leg, it felt like it was going to explode,” Walker told Racenet. “Anything they gave me wouldn’t take the pain away.”
He continued: “I spoke to a few people and a few jockeys have lost their legs through similar things and I needed surgery. I was in pain from around 9.15-9.30pm, when it happened, until about 4.30am on Friday when they finally put me under.”
Surgeons opened Walker’s leg from the knee to the ankle to relieve the pressure which required multiple surgeries to complete. He may require skin grafts.
New Zealand-born Walker has ridden 1,165 winners and 52 this season. As the rider of Prince Of Arran during two of his Spring Carnival campaigns, he won the Lexus Stakes and Geelong Cup, finishing third in the 2018 Melbourne Cup and second 12 months later.
Nicknamed ‘The Cuz’, he is facing up to the 12 months on the sidelines as a result of the fall which occurred when his mount clipped the heels of another horse. He has ridden 1,165 winners and 52 this season
“I remember the whole thing like it was slow-mo,” he said. “I had time to think about it and then all of the sudden when my feet hit the ground, her back leg came back through and kicked me in the calf. Her hitting my calf burst everything inside.”
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