01/10/2012 11:20AM

Santa Anita: Gomez to undergo surgery on fractured heel, will miss 4 to 6 weeks


ARCADIA, Calif. – Jockey Garrett Gomez will undergo surgery Thursday to repair a heel fractured in a pre-race accident Sunday, his agent, Tony Matos, said Tuesday morning.

Gomez visited orthopedic specialist Dr. James Tibone, as well as specialist Dr. Jae H. Chon, at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles on Monday afternoon. That clinic treats many of the elite athletes in the area, including the Lakers.

“Dr. Chon said the fracture could heal on its own, but it would heal quicker if there was a plate in there,” Matos said. “He will have the surgery on Thursday and be out from four to six weeks.”

The surgery will be performed by Chon, Matos said.

Gomez fractured his left heel when his mount, Silver Summation, tossed Gomez before flipping over backward while on a walkway from the paddock to the racetrack, near the track’s gift shop, prior to the eighth race n Sunday.

“They need to put a softer surface down there, sawdust, something,” Matos said. “It’s fortunate nothing had happened before. Hopefully, this will keep someone else from getting hurt.”