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A jockey who was left in a wheelchair after a nightmare fall is on the verge of sealing a sensational racing return.
Andrew Adkins was told he faced 12 months out of the sport when he sustained serious damage in the horror accident last July.
The 23-year-old broke his leg in four places as well as his collarbone and eight ribs, while also suffering a punctured lung in the controversial incident which saw his horse fatally injured and a rival jockey banned.
Other competitors in the race – which took place in Sydney, Australia – were so concerned for his wellbeing that they rushed back to the scene after crossing the line.
Adkins initially spent over two weeks in hospital recovering before undergoing rehab, which he has been carrying out for several months.
Footage from hospital showed him having to be helped to stand up on his first day of physio back in July, while he also spoke about being pushed around in a wheelchair by his mum on what he jokingly described as "day release".
“I’ve got a few breaks in my leg, I've had the tibia [shinbone] broken and had an operation to have a rod placed in that from my knee to my ankle,” said Adkins, who has won more than £8million in his racing career.
“My leg fracture was quite bad, it was a compound fracture and actually broke the skin.
“It was pretty nasty but I'm happy to give it the time and let it get to full recovery before I make any decisions about getting back to work.
“I have seven or eight broken ribs and there's nothing they can do about that. I'll just let time heal them. I've broken my collarbone, had a plate and screws put in that.
“I’ve also had something wrong with my lung which had air in it or around it. I've had a tube in it to reduce pressure.”
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Adkins was told it would be three months before he could even put pressure on his leg again after his catastrophic fall.
However, just seven months on he is now plotting a racing comeback in the next two weeks after hopping back on the saddle.
“I’ve been at trackwork a bit over two weeks now and it feels like everything’s gone quick but during the time off it was such a long drag,” he said.
“I’m here now at the trials and that’s another little milestone and now can’t wait to get back to the races.
“I feel really good. My leg’s holding up good, the fitness needs a bit of work but we’ll get there.
“I’m just happy my leg feels strong and I felt strong in the saddle. I'm eager to get going again.”
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