09/18/2015 3:23PM

Prat faces long recovery but no surgery


LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. – One day after Flavien Prat sustained five fractured vertebrae and a punctured lung in a spill at Los Alamitos, the 23-year-old jockey received good news Friday from his neurosurgeon. Prat will not require surgery for the fractures, four of which are minor and another that is more significant.

Prat’s neurosurgeon Dr. Asadeh Farin made the diagnosis after tests Friday at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, where Prat remains in the intensive care unit.

According to Prat’s agent, Derek Lawson, Prat will be required to wear a body brace for three months. During that time, the rider’s recovery will be monitored by X-rays.

If the recovery proceeds as expected, Prat could begin rehabilitation in late December. Estimates on the duration of his rehabilitation extend another three months into March.

Farin performed extensive tests Friday on Prat. She had Prat raise his knees to his chest, flex his toes, and move his neck side to side. Prat passed the tests, and according to Lawson had a “good attitude.”

Prat could be moved from ICU into a private room later Friday, and was expected to be up and walking Friday afternoon. He could be released from the hospital as early as Sunday or Monday. Prat has a chest tube inserted due to the punctured lung.

Prat’s parents were scheduled to arrive from France on Saturday, according to Lawson. Trainer Andre Fabre called to check on his condition, and Prat’s biggest local booster, trainer Richard Mandella, has been in close communication since the accident.

Jockey Santiago Gonzalez also was involved in the spill and escaped serious injury.

According to his agent, Craig Stephen, X-rays on a sore ankle were negative, though the ankle was swollen and Gonzalez was unable to put much pressure on it. Stephen said Gonzalez was “body sore” on Friday, and was scheduled for a second examination of his ankle later in the day.

Gonzalez is off his mounts at Los Alamitos Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The spill occurred in the sixth race on Thursday, a five-furlong maiden special weight. Prat’s mount, Discreetlyhumorme, was between horses on the backstretch when he stumbled and fell. Lucky Snow, with Gonzalez aboard, tripped over the fallen horse and also fell.  Both horses were walked off the track and apparently sustained no serious injuries.