01/28/2011 5:42PM

Tyler Baze has surgery for double vision, targets return to riding

Benoit & Associates
Jockey Tyler Baze is hoping to return to riding in late February or early March.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Jockey Tyler Baze, who has not ridden since July after suffering facial injuries in an accident at Del Mar, is hoping to return to riding in late February or early March after undergoing surgery to improve his vision on Jan. 19.

Baze said Thursday that the recent surgery inserted a plate to an area near the orbital bone of his right eye, which has been troubled by double vision when he looks up.

“Hopefully, I don’t get the double vision anymore,” he said. “They took out the plate that was in and put in a new plate. The way [the doctor] explained it, it was like a booster seat. What he told me, the [new] plate will lift my eye and get it in the right position.

“Right now, it’s all swollen. I can’t tell what it looks like. It looks like I got in a bar fight.”

Baze said he will return for a follow-up appointment with doctors on Feb. 17, when he hopes to learn more about a comeback date.

“We’ll go from there,” he said.

Baze, 28, was injured in an incident before the start of a race at Del Mar. At the time of the incident, he was hoping to challenge for the riding title at that meeting. Baze had hoped to resume riding at Hollywood Park in the fall, and again in time for the start of the current Santa Anita winter-spring meeting, but was troubled by vision problems.

Later this month, he hopes to resume exercising to regain fitness for his comeback.

“I can probably start lifting light weights and getting fit,” he said. The doctor “doesn’t want me to do much until a couple of weeks go by and everything is healed up.”