09/08/2016 2:29PM

Maldonado undergoes surgery to repair broken ribs

Shigeki Kikkawa
Edwin Maldonado is expected to need three to six months to recover from broken ribs and a collapsed lung.

Jockey Edwin Maldonado will miss three to six months of riding as the result of seven broken ribs and a collapsed lung sustained in a training accident at Del Mar last Sunday, according to his friend, jockey Alex Jimenez.

Maldonado underwent surgery on Wednesday at a hospital in La Jolla, Calif., to have a plate and screws inserted in three ribs to facilitate healing, Jimenez said.

“He was in so much pain every time he moved,” Jimenez said. “They had to repair them to make them more stable.

“It was necessary. With the surgery, he’ll be out three to six months. Without the surgery, it would be up to a year. It was good for him to have the surgery. Everything went good.”

Maldonado is still breathing with the aid of a machine and is expected to be weaned from the machine in the coming days, Jimenez said.

“The lung is getting better,” Jimenez said.

The incident occurred when Maldonado was unseated from a horse breaking from the gate in a workout. Maldonado struck the rail in the spill, according to observers.

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Jimenez said doctors have said they will evaluate Maldonado in three months to assess his condition. He is expected to remain hospitalized until next week.

“It will be a long three months,” Jimenez said. “After that, the doctor will evaluate him.”

Jimenez himself is sidelined after sustaining a concussion while riding at the Humboldt County Fair in Ferndale, Calif., last month. He said he traveled to the San Diego-area hospital after he learned of Maldonado’s accident.

“He’s my best friend,” Jimenez said. “I’ve known him since he started riding.”

Maldonado, 33, was fourth in the standings at the Santa Anita winter-spring and spring-summer meetings. He struggled at Del Mar during the summer, winning three races from 73 mounts. Maldonado has won three riding titles in California, most recently tying with Rafael Bejarano at the 2013 spring-summer meeting at Hollywood Park.