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Ruby Walsh confident he can fully recover from broken leg in time for Cheltenham

‘The physical pain goes away but the mental pain stays with you until you are back.’

Ruby Walsh is targeting a return for Cheltenham.
Ruby Walsh is targeting a return for Cheltenham.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

CHAMPION JOCKEY RUBY Walsh is confident that he’ll return to full fitness in time to ride at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival, following his leg break at the weekend.

The Kildare native will be out of action for a minimum of 12 weeks after fracturing his right tibia, he told Racing UK earlier today, but plans to be back for the March festival.

It kicks off on 13 March.

“A broken leg is usually 12 weeks [to heal], give or take,” Walsh told the website.

“It’s 16 weeks and three days from the fall to the Cheltenham, so I have 15-and-a-half weeks or 15-and-three-quarters to be ready.

“You have to do as the doctors say and be as patient as you can.”

Aboard Willie Mullins’ Let’s Dance at Punchestown on Saturday when the fall occurred, Walsh was treated on the track before being transferred to Naas Hospital for X-rays an further treatment.

Turf club chief medical officer Adrian McGoldrick confirmed afterwards that he did not require surgery.

Ruby Walsh and Faugheen celebrate with winning trainer Willie Mullins Mullins and Walsh celebrate with Faugheen after their Champion Hurdle win in 2015. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Walsh had been scheduled to resume his partnership with Faugheen at Punchestown on Sunday, and in the jockey’s absence, he ran to victory.

Faugheen had been out of action for 22 months prior to that, so Walsh had mixed feelings about his winning return.

“It was great to see Faugheen winning but it was heartbreaking not to be on his back,” he continued.

“That will be the case next weekend, the following weekend and every weekend until I return, but that’s just the mental pain of any sports person sitting on the sidelines.

“The physical pain goes away but the mental pain stays with you until you are back.”

Faugheen is the 5-2 favourite to reclaim his Champion Hurdle crown he won in 2015 at Cheltenham next year, and this will come as an added drive towards Walsh’s return to full fitness.

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