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Triplett Out for Nampa

PUEBLO, Colo. – Matt Triplett has decided to take another week off from the Built Ford Tough Series so that he can return next weekend for his home state event in Billings, Montana.

The Columbia Falls bull rider met with Dr. Tandy Freeman on Thursday before coming to his decision. Triplett, who tore his left MCL at the Ty Murray Invitational attempting to ride Coyote will be fitted for a brace and continuing rehabbing at the Michael Johnson Performance facility in McKinney, Texas.

“I’m going to take this weekend off and let everything get a little better and work a full week back for Billings,” Triplett said. “I am going to be 100 percent back for Billings.”

Triplett had originally hoped to be able to ride at the DeWALT Guaranteed Tough Invitational this weekend.

Triplett added that his left knee has been feeling better, but that he wanted to err on the side of caution following his check-up with Freeman.

“It was just a little loose and still a little tender,” Triplett said. “(Freeman) wants me to give it one more weekend so we don’t have to go through surgery or risk dealing with bad things.”

The 23-year-old went to MJP on Tuesday for an evaluation before meeting with Freeman to get the OK to participate in a full rehab regimen.

Triplett leads the BFTS with five round wins and is tied with Reese Cates for most wins (2) on tour. He has gone 28-for-30 (52.63 percent) in 12 events.  He had spent eight weeks as the No. 1 rider before Joao Ricardo Vieira passed him in Seattle.

Vieira will now have the opportunity to try and extend his five-point lead in Nampa at the Ford Idaho Center against Beaver Creek Beau (22-2, BFTS) in the 15/15 Bucking Battle and Rusty (0-0, BFTS) in Round 1.

Beaver Creek Beau bucked off Vieira in 2.25 seconds at the 2014 BFTS event in Kansas City, Missouri.

L.J. Jenkins has replaced Triplett in the 15/15 Bucking Battle and he will face Boot Jack (13-1, BFTS).

Jenkins is ranked 17th in the world standings and is coming off a season-best 3-for-3 performance at the Seattle Invitational.

This weekend’s 15/15 Bucking Battle can be seen on CBS network television on Sunday at noon ET.

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

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