12/06/2002 12:00AM

Rice set to leave hospital

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OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Trainer Linda Rice, who was injured when kicked in the back by a horse Tuesday at her Belmont Park barn during training hours, was scheduled to be released from the hospital on Saturday.

Rice originally thought she would have to spend only one night at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y., but her injuries were more severe than first thought. Rice, 38, cracked three ribs, fractured her left elbow, and has a puncture wound on her left arm.

Rice said Friday morning that doctors kept her hospitalized longer primarily because she needed to receive antibiotics intravenously for the puncture wound.

"They did a CAT scan and found an abnormality" on her spleen, said Rice, "but the new set they did showed that everything is fine. The crack in my elbow is non-displaced, which is good. I'm feeling a lot better. The ribs are just going to need time to heal."