07/30/2008 12:00AM

Hip injury sidelines jockey Herber


For jockey Don Herber, the season at Columbus came to an end before the first race was run last weekend when he suffered a hip injury in a morning accident July 22 that hospitalized him for more than a week.

Herber suffered a fracture in the ball joint of his right hip when a horse reared and then came over on its side, pinning him down. He was taken by ambulance to Columbus Community Hospital and transported later that day to Creighton Medical Center in Omaha, Neb., where he underwent hip surgery. He returned to Columbus this Tuesday and is out of action for the remainder of the year.

"I had a plate in there from another injury years ago, and they were talking here in Columbus like they would have to replace the entire hip," Herber said Wednesday morning while on crutches outside the racing office. "After they explained the options to me in Omaha, it sounded as if I were better off retaining as much of the bone as I could. They had to reset the screws in the plate [to accommodate] the screws for the ball of the joint."

Herber had been enjoying a good year on the Nebraska circuit, with 60 wins from 467 mounts. He is the regular rider for The Nutz, winner of the Bosselman/Gus Fonner Stakes earlier this year, who most recently led in the stretch before settling for second in the Omaha Stakes at Horsemen's Park on July 20.