12/04/2007 1:00AM

Wade still in coma following Friday spill


CHICAGO - Lyndie Wade, the jockey who suffered a head injury in a spill Friday at Hawthorne, remained in a coma as of late Monday morning, but his agent, Jay Fedor, said doctors remain optimistic about his recovery.

"They don't seem to be concerned at the hospital," said Fedor, who has spent many of the last 72 hours in the pediatric intensive care unit of Loyola Medical Center in Maywood, Ill. "It's just a matter of his brain relaxing and getting back to normal."

Privacy law prohibits the hospital from even confirming that Wade is a patient there, a person in the pediatric ICU said Monday.

Wade, a 16-year-old apprentice who recently relocated from Louisiana, was riding a filly named Chestnut Gold when his mount broke down catastrophically past the quarter pole in Friday's third race.

Knocked unconscious, Wade had minor bleeding on the brain, according to Fedor, a condition that had improved as of Saturday. On Saturday, Wade was in a drug-induced coma, but as of late Monday morning, Wade had failed to emerge from the comatose state, even though the drugs had been withdrawn. According to Fedor, continued swelling of the brain has kept Wade from regaining consciousness.

"t wasn't severe swelling," Fedor said. "It's just a matter of the swelling he does have going back to normal, and then his brain will start functioning. Everyone would like to see him open his eyes today, but there's no book on when that's going to happen."

Wade, Fedor said, seems responsive during his more alert states, and will squeeze the hand of a person, or move his toes. Wade has moved his entire body, and did not appear to have injured his back, Fedor said.

Wade's mother flew to Chicago from Louisiana on Saturday.