Injured jockey Alysha Collett underwent successful surgery to her fractured vertebra on Thursday.
The New Zealand-born 25-year-old rider had a 10cm rod screwed onto her L1 lumbar vertebra during a five-hour long surgery performed at the Singapore General Hospital on Thursday night.
Collett sustained the back injury as well as a fractured right heel when she fell off Drone in Race 6 at Kranji on Sunday.
After MRI scans cleared her of any more serious injuries to the spine and skull, it was decided to operate on her backbone while she opted out of surgery for her foot.
“I’m glad it’s done. The post-surgery pain was terrible, but I’m feeling better now,” said Collett from her ward.
“It was meant to be a 15cm rod on either side of the vertebra, but the doctors then realised a smaller 10cm rod would do the job.
“I was given the option to operate on my foot as well, but I was told since I will be in a wheelchair for a while and won’t put any pressure on the foot, I might as well just let it heal naturally.
“I think with the impact, my heel has pushed my toes forward, so the injury is more widespread than I thought. They have put a cast around it.”
Collett was advised that both back and heel injuries will take a few months to heal. With her season over, it is more likely she will head back to New Zealand to convalesce.
“Right now, my mum is here to look after me, but she is going back home next Monday. My sister Natasha arrives on Tuesday, so it works out well,” said Collett.
“But in the long run, I will probably need to recover with my family around me. For now, I will stay in Singapore and then make a final decision.”
Collett will attend an inquiry to determine the causes of the fall when she is fit enough.
Her mount Drone appeared to be racing in restricted room between Thunderstruck (Vlad Duric) and Racer King (Daniel Moor) at the 250m, seemingly clipped heels, dislodging Collett in the process.
Collett, whose visiting jockey’s six-month licence runs out on November 9, and for which she had applied for a renewal before the fall, currently sits in 14th place on the Singapore jockey’s log on 11 winners, 11 seconds and 16 thirds from 181 rides. - Singapore Turf Club