Jockey Jason Benbow cannot believe how two seemingly innocuous falls have put him on the sidelines for extended periods.
A trackwork fall at Caulfield in March last year left Benbow with a fracture to the T6 vertebra and he spent several months on the sidelines while a fall at Sale in May has put him out until at least the end of this year.
The jockey is naturally frustrated with his predicament as he recovers, walking around in a moon-boot
Benbow fractured a bone in his ankle and seven bones in his foot.
“Unfortunately for a harmless fall it’s classified as a serious injury,” Benbow said.
“To me it’s just a foot injury but it’s proving to be difficult and a long and lengthy process on the road to recovery.”
Benbow has three plates and 15 screws in his foot and requires an operation to remove those before he can ride again.
Doctors want the “metal” to stay in place for six months before removing it after which Benbow can start making a move towards a comeback.
He will need to wear specially made insoles for his shoes as well as a carbon-fibre insole in his riding boot.
“The specialist is a bit concerned that if I go to put weight on my toe and the ball of my foot it mightn’t be strong enough for the first six to 12 months,” Benbow said.
“I’ve also got to wear insoles in my shoes for the next 12 months to recreate a bit of shape and an arch in my foot.
“Essentially the injury has flattened my foot.”
Benbow is keeping in trim with a special program in a hydrotherapy pool.
“It’s small steps at the moment and hopefully in a few months we can up the program,” he said.
“I’ll also have to make sure I stay away from the pies so I don’t blow out too much.”
The journeyman jockey plies his trade mainly in provincial Victoria with his biggest win the 2004 Group One Emirates Stakes on Sky Cuddle at Flemington.