By: Justin Felisko
January 20, 2017
OKLAHOMA CITY – Two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney has a little more pep in his step these days, even if he is still dealing with pain in his right hip.
Mauney has decided to return to competition next week for the Sacramento Invitational (Jan. 27-29) after MRI results revealed muscle tears and a groin strain.
“I’ll see you in Sacramento,” Mauney said Friday morning from his home in North Carolina. “They did the MRI and everything and they injected it too with a steroid. It feels pretty good, but (Dr. Tandy Freeman) said I will have to look at getting it scoped eventually.”
Mauney is going to try to ride through the pain until the Built Ford Tough Series summer break.
The 30-year-old would then look at getting his hip scoped in mid-May.
Last Cowboy Standing (May 12-14) is the last BFTS event before the three-month break.
“The plan is I will try to make it until the break before I do it,” Mauney said. “(Freeman) said I will be out three or four months once I do it.”
Mauney is currently 24th in the world standings and is not competing at this weekend’s Express Employment Professionals Invitational in Oklahoma City.
He has posted four consecutive Top-5 finishes in the world standings, including his first World Championship run in 2013.
Mauney, who finished fourth in the 2016 world standings, missed five BFTS events last season.
Oklahoma City is Mauney’s second missed event since he aggravated his hip when WSM Auctioneer’s Dew Rag Dan bucked him off in 4.82 seconds during Round 1 of the Monster Energy Buck Off at the Garden two weeks ago.
Mauney has had chronic hip problems for the last few seasons, but said he had never received a cortisone injection for his hip until this week.
“Nope. This is the first time,” Mauney said. “This is what I was hoping for. I was telling Samantha (Mauney), hopefully when they inject it for the MRI, one, they will find exactly what is wrong with it, and, two, hopefully that steroid will make it feel better. If it does, I will get by if I have to get anything done on it for a while.”
Mauney is 22 rides away from joining 2004 World Champion Mike Lee and 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi in the 500-ride club.
The Mooresville, North Carolina, native decided on waiting until the summer break because the injection he got appears to have reduced the pain he was feeling since New York.
“It is still sore, but the hip feels fine,” Mauney said. “Sitting in the sofa (before) would still hurt me. When I was walking, if I didn’t turn, I was alright. I still limp when I walk straight, but when I twist, gosh damn.”
He also felt the timing of the surgery just wasn’t right.
“That is what I figured,” he said. “If I had it done now, it would already be the break by the time I would heal up. Tandy said as long as it is feeling better, you can come back.”
Mauney plans on meeting with renowned hip surgeon Dr. J.W. Thomas Byrd at some point before the summer break to schedule a procedure.
“We will deal with that when the time comes,” Mauney added. “I decided I will go for at least as long as I can before it gets to hurting bad again and I have to do that.”
Byrd is the same surgeon that performed hip surgery on four-time PRCA champion J.W. Harris last year.
Mauney also will discuss the injury more with Freeman once he arrives in Sacramento next week.
The 12-year veteran was working on his truck at his North Carolina ranch when Freeman called him with the relatively good news Thursday.
“He went into telling me all that was going on,” Mauney said. “He said, ‘You can come back and ride, but you are going to have to get that thing fixed and get surgery eventually.’
Mauney then concluded, “I said, ‘See you in Sacramento.’”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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