Harris’ X-Rays Come Back Negative

By: Keith Ryan Cartwright May 14, 2014@ 10:30:00 AM

J.W. Harris will compete as scheduled on May 31 in Decatur, Texas. Photo by Andy Watson /

FORT WORTH, Texas – “It’s just a foot.”

That assessment from J.W. Harris regarding his ailing right foot, which he originally injured a week earlier at an event in Colorado Springs, Colorado, caused some concern as to whether or not he would start the 13-week summer break from the Built Ford Tough Series by taking off up to potentially four weeks.

X-rays taken on Monday afternoon were negative and showed no signs of a break or fracture.

Harris, who is currently ranked 34th in the world standings despite only competing in six of 18 Built Ford Tough Series events, was examined by a local doctor in Mullin, Texas, with a plan of having those X-rays sent to Dr. Tandy Freeman, who is three hours north in Dallas, had there been any indication of a problem.

“Everything looked fine,” Harris said. “They didn’t know what was wrong with it, but it’s not broke, so we’ll just go on with it.”

He later added, “You don’t need to use a foot to ride a bull.”

In fact, this weekend he’ll compete at a Touring Pro Division event hosted by Cody Ohl in nearby Hico and again next weekend in Uvalde. On Tuesday afternoon, Harris confirmed his intention to compete on Saturday, May 31, in Decatur.

Harris is paired with Shepherd Hills Tested in a winner-take-all $25,000 challenge against reigning World Champion J.B. Mauney, who will attempt Asteroid.

Mauney, who is 11th in the standings, is recovering from his own rough weekend in Las Vegas.

The 27-year-old sustained a right hip pointer (severe bruise) and a right sacroiliac joint sprain when his second-round bull Western Hauler at the Last Cowboy Standing fell. Mauney’s right side was slammed to the ground.

He initially indicated he would take his re-ride, but after returning to the chute area he reconsidered his decision and declined the option.

As for the upcoming challenge, Mauney was quoted over the weekend saying, “I think I will be alright. I ain’t moving so good right now. I just need to relax.”

On Tuesday, J.W. Hart, who arranged the matchup to be held at the conclusion of the annual J.W. Hart PBR Challenge, hadn’t heard from either Harris or Mauney.

Hart said, “I figured if it was a no-go they would contact me.”

The two will compete as planned in the 1,000 Miles from Home Challenge.

Following this past weekend’s event, the only real issue was with Harris. Speculation had been everything from his own assessment of two to three weeks at the most to Freeman’s own thought of in upwards of four weeks off.

“Whenever I was talking to Tandy, he said, ‘You’ll be out four weeks,’ and I just kind of looked at him,” recalled Harris, who will also meet up with Bushwacker in a $50,000 bounty on Friday, June 13, at a TPD event in Bismarck, North Dakota. “He said, ‘You should be out four weeks. I’m not saying you’re going to.’ I just looked at him and I said, ‘Tandy, you know better than to tell me four weeks.’”

Following ACL surgery in February of 2012, Harris was supposed to be out six months and was back on bulls three months later. The only other substantial time he missed was, in 2008, when he “crushed” the left side of his face.

“I kind of snuck around without him knowing about it,” said Harris, of his early return from knee surgery. “Well, he knew about it. You can’t sneak around with that guy without him knowing it, so when I went back in there he just kind of shook his head.”

Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @pbr_krc.

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