Michael Walker admits he contemplated whether he would be able to return to riding after his latest injury absence but the multiple Group One-winning jockey is hopeful his comeback is now only weeks away.
Walker has not ridden since he had to be helped off a horse after a race at Moonee Valley in February when his back seized up.
He underwent an operation on his L4 and L5 vertebrae and then his comeback was delayed a few more weeks after he also had to undergo surgery on a troublesome hip.
“I went and saw (Racing Victoria doctor) Gary Zimmerman today to work out a little bit of a plan for my comeback and I’m cleared to ride in races from the 14th of July onwards,” Walker said.
Walker said he can return to track work next week, which is his intention.
“If I feel good riding work next week I’ll definitely take rides from the following Friday onwards,” he said.
“But if I feel within myself that I need another week of track work, then that’s what I’ll do.
“It will just be up to my discretion now.
“I’ve got fingers, toes, arms, legs, everything crossed.
“I pray to God that I’m going to come back on the 14th and be injury free for the rest of my career.”
Walker said he was “pretty pumped” to get back in the saddle after the latest of a string of injury absences in recent seasons.
“It’s been a long time coming, especially when I was hearing through the grapevine a lot of people saying my career was over,” Walker said.
“And to be honest it was up in the air for me as well through all the injuries I’ve had the last three years, and we just couldn’t get on top of things.
“No-one could really give me a percentage as to when or if I would ride again, so it was just a matter of going through the process of the operations and the rehab. And thankfully my body has held up so far.”