Dwayne Dunn’s hopes of putting his injured neck to the test in trackwork this week have been shelved.
The jockey has been sidelined since December after being diagnosed with a bulging disk.
Dunn wants to delay surgery as long as he can and has put a program in place to try to get back to riding without having an operation.
While he has been pleased with his progress, Dunn said he had suffered a minor setback which foiled his plans to return to trackwork this week.
“I won’t be getting on a horse now until after the 13th of March. That’s when I next go back to see (Dr) Gary Zimmerman to see how much more I can do,” Dunn said.
“It’s progressed really well. I’m really happy with the way it’s progressed but I’ve just taken a little step backwards unfortunately.
“It just wasn’t as good as what it has been. I’ve just started jogging and things like that and I just took a step backwards today.”
Although Dunn is keen to avoid surgery, he says he will not know for sure until he is able to fully test himself.
“Hopefully I don’t need it (surgery), but it’s one of those things I won’t really know until I get back to full operation to really know where I’m at with it,” he said.
“It’s improved a long way but I still need to take another good step forward to get back on a horse. But we’re not too far away.”
The 40-year-old holds the record for Blue Diamond winners with four in consecutive years from 2005 to 2008.
He enjoyed a successful association last season with star colt All Too Hard, winning four Group One races on the now-retired half brother to Black Caviar.
While Dunn has been sidelined, his 19-year-old son Dylan has recently started his riding career and the apprentice rode his third winner on Sunday at Murray Bridge.
It was his first win for his master Phillip Stokes.
“He had four rides yesterday for a winner and three seconds so he’s going along nicely in the right direction,” Dunn said.