By: Justin Felisko
September 27, 2016
PUEBLO, Colo. – Cooper Davis may have a “big, ole ugly scar” on his right shoulder these days, but the No. 2 rider in the world standings is OK with that seeing as he feels ready to return to competition.
Davis confirmed on Tuesday morning that he will be competing at this weekend’s Wrangler Long Live Cowboys Classic in Eugene, Oregon, 17 days after Dr. Tandy Freeman surgically repaired Davis’ broken right clavicle with a plate and three screws.
“Shoulder feels good,” Davis said. “The bone won’t be healed for another four or five weeks, but the plate will hold it in place long enough to do what I need to do with it.”
Davis underwent surgery on Sept. 14 and was back in the gym working out three days later. He has even started an Insanity workout program at the suggestion of rookie Jess Lockwood.
“I am not really worried about the shoulder,” Davis said. “I have been able to work out and put it through a little bit of a test. I haven’t gotten on a bull or anything, but I don’t see it being a problem. Right now I don’t have any concerns about it.”
Davis finished second in Thackerville, Oklahoma, and rode Cool Hand Luke for 84.5 points in Springfield, Missouri, on Sept. 9 before learning he had actually broken his clavicle two weeks earlier in Tulsa, Oklahoma, after being slammed by Pyscho Path following his 87.25-point ride.
At the time of his surgery, Davis was only 80.33 points world leader Kaique Pacheco and had ridden nine for his last 14 with two victories.
The 22-year-old heads into Eugene still just 600.33 points behind Pacheco.
“That is good to know and all that stuff, but there is still four events left and the Finals has so many points,” Davis said. “Honestly, right now, it is going to come down to the wire at the Finals. It doesn’t do much good getting excited about how close you are or how far you are. Kaique knows that. J.B. knows that. All three of us pretty much have the same mindset about it.”
Mauney is set to miss his second consecutive event after breaking a rib attempting to ride Who Dey in Charlotte. The two-time World Champion is 870.33 points behind Pacheco and said he is feeling better, but still isn’t ready for a return to competition.
Mauney said he hasn’t been evaluated since Charlotte, but that the swelling near his ribs has gone down.
Pacheco, who bruised his right knee in Colorado Springs, and Davis are two of the 15 riders competing in this weekend’s 15/15 Bucking Battle in Eugene. Fans can watch the event at 5 p.m. ET Sunday on CBS national television (check local listings).
Pacheco has a rematch against Dead Calm, who he rode for 82.5 points in Anaheim, while Davis will take on Flint for the first time.
Flint is 25-10 on the BFTS and broke one of Tyler Harr’s ribs when he bucked Harr off in 2.81 seconds last week in Colorado Springs.
“I have seen him quite a bit,” Davis said. “I have seen him be kind of common and have those days where he really wants to buck. It is going to be kind of a crap shoot with him. He is probably going to start one way and go back the other. My goal is to not get comfortable on him.”
Davis didn’t enjoy having to miss two events, but he also said it was nice to recharge some at home with his family. Cooper and his wife, Kaitlyn, are currently in the process of designing and building a new house in Buna, Texas.
“It was a little bit of both,” he said. “You want to get up there and get back at it, but at the same time I got to spend time with my family and do some things I needed to do. We are getting ready to build a house so it was giving us time to sit down, slow down and take care of things we needed to.”
Davis has no plans to attempt any practice bulls before Eugene.
Instead, he is confident he will not be rusty.
“Just show up and let it happen I suppose,” Davis concluded. “It is not like I have been out for months or anything. It has only been two weeks. If I have forgotten how to do it since then, then I am in a bind.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
15/15 Bucking Battle Matchups
Tanner Byrne vs. Asteroid (56-4, BFTS)
Guilherme Marchi vs. Swashbuckler (10-3, BFTS)*
Lachlan Richardson vs. Boot Jack (29-2, BFTS)
Derek Kolbaba vs. Spotted Demon (22-1, BFTS)
Wallace de Oliveira vs. Fire & Smoke (26-9, BFTS)
Paulo Lima vs. Big Cat (2-1, BFTS)
Shane Proctor vs. Bad Moon Rising (5-3, BFTS)
Mike Lee vs. Smooth Operator (26-1, BFTS)
Ryan Dirteater vs. Catfish John (10-4, BFTS)*
Fabiano Vieira vs. Kookaburra (5-1, BFTS)
Jess Lockwood vs. Cooper Tires Semper Fi (25-12, BFTS)*
Eduardo Aparecido vs. Crossfire (29-1, BFTS)*
Joao Ricardo Vieira vs. Beaver Creek Beau (43-4, BFTS)*
Cooper Davis vs. Flint (25-10, BFTS)
Kaique Pacheco vs. Dead Calm (8-1, BFTS)*
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