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Nunes and Hayes Out for Six Weeks

DES MOINES, Iowa – 2010 World Champion Renato Nunes and 10-year veteran Kasey Hayes are the latest two riders inside the Top 35 of the world standings to suffer significant injuries on the Built Ford Tough Series.

According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Nunes underwent emergency surgery for an abdominal laceration (left inguinal ring) last night at a local hospital after being gored by Lieutenant Dan in Round 1.

“He will be fine,” Freeman said. “It is just going to take a while for things to heal. Basically, his injury occurred in the same location where adult males get hernias. So they had to put some stitches in to repair something similar to a hernia. The horn didn’t get into his abdominal cavity, but it was close.”

Nunes will be out for six weeks and is expected to be released from the hospital on Sunday.

The 33-year-old is currently the 21st ranked rider in the world standings before the start of the final day of action of the Des Moines Invitational. He has ridden 16-of-45 (35.66 percent) and posted seven Top-10 finishes.

Later in the evening, Hayes sustained compression fractures of three lumbar vertebrae (L1,2,3) when he was folded up underneath Cowboy’s Dance Hall’s Panda Trax during the 15/15 Bucking Battle after being bucked off in 3.56 seconds.

“His mechanism of injury, getting folded up like he did, that is how those can occur,” Freeman said. “None of them are of any structural significance. He will probably get an MRI this week to make sure he doesn’t have any ligament or disc injury, but these are stable fracture patterns and they will heal. Likely in six weeks he will be able to come back.”

Hayes will also be out for six weeks. The 29-year-old is 20th in the world standings and has three Top-10 finishes to go along with a 27.91 percent riding average this season.

While not nearly as serious, 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi was also ruled out for Round 2 in Des Moines after spraining his right ankle when he was stepped on by Fire Bender in Round 1 on Saturday night. The No. 5 bull rider in the world separated his right shoulder (AC joint sprain) when he hit the ground as he was thrown from Pistol Pete during the 15/15 Bucking Battle.

Marchi has ridden 26-of-52 bulls attempted this season and is tied for the BFTS-lead in event wins (2).

He is listed as probable for next weekend’s Rumble in the Rockies in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

There are now eight riders inside the Top 35 of the world standings out because of injury.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

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