11/12/2008 1:00AM

Napravnik returns from latest injury


Although Rosie Napravnik is just 20 years old and has been riding for less than four full years, she has already suffered four major injuries that have caused her to miss 10 months.

Most recently, she was out for three months after breaking the tibia and fibula bones in her left leg in a spill at Delaware Park. Previously, she was sidelined for four months after breaking her left wrist at Colonial Downs in July 2007, missed 2 1/2 months with multiple fractures in her back suffered in a fall at Laurel Park in January 2007, and was out five weeks with a broken collarbone sustained at Laurel in November 2005.

Napravnik has resumed riding at Laurel, where she intends to remain through the end of December before moving her tack to Aqueduct’s inner track in January. Although she has won with just 4 of 33 mounts since returning Nov. 1, Napravnik has been in the money 23 times (69 percent).

“I honestly feel like I have not missed a beat,” said Napravnik, who finished second in the the 2006 Eclipse Award balloting for outstanding apprentice. “I am getting really experienced at bouncing back from injuries and I feel like I never left.

“I worked horses for about three weeks before I rode my first race and was in an intense therapy program at the same time, working out four hours a day, five days a week. I really worked hard getting fit and I think it has paid off.”

She admitted that she had a difficult time dealing with the mental aspect of her latest accident.

“The first three major injuries, I had a very positive attitude all through the layoff,” Napravnik said. “This time, there was a period where I felt bitter. I was sick of getting injured and then I had to snap out of it and get back into positive mode because there is nothing you can do about it.”