04/17/2011 3:09PM

Santa Anita 90-year-old security guard home from hospital

John Shear, 90, expects to return to work at Santa Anita this fall.

ARCADIA, Calif.- John Shear, the 90-year-old Santa Anita paddock guard who was seriously injured when defending a small child from a loose horse on March 12, was released from the hospital on Saturday.

Shear’s adult son, Mike, said his father is planning a return to work for the Santa Anita fall meeting in the final week of September.

Shear arrived at his home in Sierra Madre, Calif., on Saturday afternoon, a day that coincided with his wife Diane’s birthday.

 “He’s a lot more independent than I thought he’d be,” Mike Shear said of his father. “He’s using a walker but he’s able to get around the house, get off the couch, and get things out of kitchen.

“He’ll be doing in-home physical therapy for three weeks. There is a place he wants to go to outside [of home] another three or four weeks [of therapy]. The first prognosis was the doctor said he be able to fully walk in eight to 10 weeks. I think it will be sooner than that.”

Shear, an avid poker player, is already planning an early summer trip to Vegas with his son, and a return trip there with friends in the fall, Mike Shear said.

Shear, who has worked at Santa Anita since 1961, suffered a fractured pelvis and internal bleeding as a result of being struck after he positioned himself to protect a child from a loose horse in the paddock.

His actions and release from the hospital have been news throughout Los Angeles in recent weeks. Shortly after the accident, Shear was profiled in newspaper articles for his heroism and his release on Saturday was part of evening news programs.