06/21/2012 4:46PM

Velazquez will miss four to six weeks, won’t need surgery

Barbara D. Livingston
Jockey John Velazquez will be sidelined four to six weeks due to a fractured collarbone.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Jockey John Velazquez will be sidelined four to six weeks, but will not undergo surgery to repair the fractured collarbone he suffered last Saturday night at Churchill Downs.

Under the best-case scenario, Velazquez would be able to return during the early part of the 40-day Saratoga meet that begins July 20.

Velazquez, 40, was injured in Saturday’s ninth race at Churchill Downs when his mount, Mr. Producer, broke down nearing the sixteenth pole. Velazquez also suffered an injury to his kidney, which required him to stay in a Louisville hospital until Tuesday.

Since returning to New York, Velazquez visited two doctors, who advised him that he won’t need surgery to repair the injury.

“After conferring with two different doctors in New York, we’ve learned that Johnny will not have to undergo surgery on his broken collarbone,” Leona Velazquez said in a press release issued via the Jockey’s Guild, of which John is president. “Physicians say his collarbone should heal in four to six weeks.”

Leona Velazquez said John will have the injury re-examined in two weeks to determine the “progress of his healing.”

“Assuming satisfactory progress, Johnny will begin physical therapy at that time,” she said.

Velazquez, who will be inducted into racing’s Hall of Fame on Aug. 10, won the June 9 Belmont Stakes aboard Union Rags and on May 28 the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap aboard Shackleford.

This year, Velazquez ranks third in purse money won with $8,071,257 and 15th in races won with 107, according to Equibase.