Injured jockey Andrew Adkins is hoping to be back riding by the new year, as he continues his recovery from a horrific race fall.
Adkins fell heavily from his mount Hot ‘N’ Hazy during a race in late July and had a rod put in his tibia and a plate in his clavicle.
He also suffered eight broken ribs and spent time in a high dependency ward with a tube in his lung.
Champion jockey Hugh Bowman was suspended and heavily criticised for his involvement in the incident which sent Adkins crashing to the turf.
The Group 1-winning rider is set to see his specialist early next month, with that meeting set to give him a guideline for his return.
“I’m sure he will give me an update then. But he’s only looking at x-rays, so it’s really up to me and when I feel like it’s 100 per cent or close to it,” Adkins said.
“At the moment I am trying to look towards January and get back in the new year, which is five weeks away. Hopefully I can keep working towards that date.
“Whether it’s a bit longer or a bit shorter, I don’t know. I just have to keep doing the right thing to get to the stage where I can get back on a horse.
“My collarbone and ribs are all healed and I obviously had the punctured lung as well, which is pretty good. It’s just my leg now, which is going good.
“There’s still a bit of pain there. But it’s going well, it just has a little bit to go. I’ve got to get that muscle back and it doesn’t come back overnight.”
Adkins has watched the incident a number of times and said he would not be scared by the fall.
“It doesn’t really bother me. These things happen and when you sign up to be a jockey, you know these things can happen,” he said.
“I’ve had just about as bad a fall at Randwick two years ago and you get over it pretty quick and try and move on.
“I’d really like to have no more falls because I’ve had enough of them already. You’ve just got to hope for a bit of luck.”
The 23-year-old, who has spent time on the golf course recently, said he was diligently completing his rehab to give himself the best chance of returning to the saddle quickly.
“I’m getting to the gym most days, trying to go five, six days a week,” he said.
“I am getting my diet right and stuff like that.”
Adkins said he had been blown away by the level of support he had received since the fall.
“I was totally rapt with everyone’s positive messages. I couldn’t even get through them when I was in hospital,” he said.