By: Justin Felisko
September 12, 2016
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – World No. 2 Cooper Davis has elected to undergo surgery Wednesday morning to repair his broken right clavicle after meeting with Dr. Tandy Freeman on Monday morning in Dallas.
Davis had X-rays taken on Sunday which revealed the small fracture in his riding arm.
“He said I could either basically sit out six to eight weeks, and not have surgery, and then come back at the Finals and the bone would be not as strong. Or I could have surgery and possibly come back in two weeks,” Davis said.
Freeman will perform the surgery.
“It will be like three screws and a plate,” Davis said. “That way you don’t have to worry about it coming apart. Even though the bone will not be completely healed, the plate will hold it in place. It will be strong enough to ride with, while the bone will still have time to heal.”
Davis is currently targeting a return to competition on Oct. 2 in Eugene, Oregon, at the Wrangler Long Live Cowboys Classic. That could change though based on how the surgery goes and his recovery process.
“It is going to be a trial and error thing,” Davis said. “If I don’t feel like I am ready to come back in Eugene then I am not going to. I have had surgeries before and been back in an even shorter time than this. I don’t think it is going to affect my riding. As long as my shoulder is strong, I don’t think it will affect it all.”
There are six regular-season Built Ford Tough Series events remaining until the 2016 Built Ford Tough World Finals on Nov. 2-6.
Davis has never had shoulder surgery, but did break his shoulder in 2008.
“It was actually a pretty good break,” Davis said. “I was young enough then that they didn’t do surgery.”
The 22-year-old first sustained his current injury two weeks ago in Tulsa, Oklahoma, when he was slammed to the ground by Psycho Path following an 87.25-point ride.
The Jasper, Texas, bull rider went on to win the Tulsa event with an 86.75-point ride on Machinery Auctioneer’s Little Joe and then placed second in Thackerville, Oklahoma, with a 2-for-3 performance.
However, Davis, who had separated the shoulder in Tulsa, realized in Springfield on Friday night during his 84.5-point ride on Cool Hand Luke that something wasn’t right.
“It had to of been in Tulsa because I haven’t taken a spill or anything since then,” Davis said. “Heck, I landed on my meet (Friday) when it hurt the worst. I kind of knew right then it was probably something different than we thought.”
Davis is 80.33 points behind world leader Kaique Pacheco and has been on a dominating run since the BFTS resumed in Nashville. Nashville was the first of back-to-back victories for Davis and he has ridden nine of his last 14.
“It is harder (sitting out) because I think I am riding the best I ever have in my career,” Davis said. “I was just looking at it, with a broken collarbone I rode four of six bulls. Heck, there is no telling what I could do if I was healed.
“It is just something you have to deal with in this sport even though it sucks.”
Davis added that Freeman compared his injury to Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. Romo broke his left clavicle early in the 2015 NFL season against the Eagles and originally opted to not get surgery. Romo then returned after a seven-game layoff only to break it again less than two games later against the Carolina Panthers.
“Well, he was telling me if you don’t have surgery it is a 98 percent chance it will heal right,” Davis said. “But at six to eight weeks it is still not fully healed then. It takes 12 weeks for that bone to heal.”
Still, this decision is primarily about getting himself back as soon as possible for his push at the 2016 world title.
“Now it was time to make a business decision,” Davis said. “If I wanted to sit out six to eight weeks, I could. Or I can come back and not miss all those events. That is what I am going to do. I couldn’t stand sitting out six to eight weeks.”
Also don’t expect Davis to be sitting at home watching any bull riding on television.
“It is definitely harder to sit there,” Davis said. “I don’t want to watch it and I won’t watch it on TV until I get back. I don’t have to pay attention to all of that. It is going to be the same game when I get back in a couple of weeks.
“It is only two or three weeks and the Finals is a bunch of points. I still have a real good shot.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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