Jockey took week to tell doctors of broken leg

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 12 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 12 February, 2011, 12:00am

Jockey Tye Angland proved just how tough he was last week when he flew to Australia to be best man at his friend's wedding just hours after breaking his shoulder in a fall at Sha Tin - but he took bragging rights to a new level after it was revealed he had been walking around on a fractured leg for the previous six days.

The 21-year-old broke his shoulder after falling from the Derek Cruz-trained Cerise Cherry in the Chinese New Year Cup last Saturday but that night he was on the nine-hour flight back to Sydney to get to the wedding the next day. He only found out yesterday that he had also broken his leg in the fall.

It is now in a cast and he may not be racing again for two months.

Further X-rays were taken after Angland underwent surgery on his broken shoulder on Thursday, when the rider finally told doctors that his right leg was in constant pain. The scans revealed his calfbone had been broken where his horse had trod on him as he crashed to the turf.

'I heard a click in my leg as I stepped down a stair the other day and it started to swell up and wasn't getting any better, so I went back to the doctor to get it checked out yesterday and the X-ray showed it was fractured,' Angland said. 'My leg was sore straight away, but I just figured it was bruising or muscle damage from when the horse trod on me.

'Because I was on such heavy painkillers for my shoulder, I didn't think too much about my leg, but when the painkillers wore off it started to get pretty sore.

'I had to go into surgery on Thursday so I didn't have time to get my leg checked out until yesterday when I went back to my GP and got the X-rays on my leg done.''

The legend surrounding the former rodeo bull rider continues to grow - with his Facebook wall bursting with messages of disbelief, as friends included adjectives like 'Wolverine', 'freak' and 'tough as nails' in response to Angland's latest news.

The surgeon at Norwest clinic in Sydney who operated on Angland's severely broken left shoulder inserted five temporary wires to hold the bones in place until they heal.

'The surgeon didn't want to decide between using a permanent plate or the wires until he got in there and had a look, so the option was left up to him as to how he went about it,' Angland said.

'The wires will be taken out in about four weeks, and I should be able to start physiotherapy on my shoulder, but now my leg is in a cast for up to six weeks, so I'm not really sure when I'll be back riding.

'The doctors are saying I'll be out for up to two months, but I have a check-up in a week and they said they'll have more of an idea then.

'I'm keen to come back to Hong Kong to ride out the remainder of the season as soon as I'm right, but I've just got to concentrate on getting this shoulder and leg right first.'

With his left arm in a sling and right leg in a plaster cast, Angland is under strict instructions to get plenty of rest, but his fiance Erin might be well advised to put his single crutch out of reach of the couch for the next couple of weeks, just to be sure.