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Triplett to Avoid Surgery for Torn MCL

PUEBLO, Colo. – World leader Matt Triplett learned on Tuesday that he has a complete tear of his left MCL following the results of his Monday afternoon MRI.

However, after talking with Dr. Tandy Freeman on Tuesday morning, he was informed that he does not need surgery.

According to Freeman, the MRI revealed that Triplett has a grade 3 (complete) tear of the MCL of his left knee, but that his PCL tear was from an older injury. The MCL injury can be treated non-operatively.

“He said take a couple of weeks off and we can go from there,” Triplett said. “It is good. No surgery.”

The 23-year-old says he is looking at a potential return to action in either Nampa, Idaho, in three weeks or in Billings, Montana.

“I am going to come to Nampa and we will test it all out and go from there,” Triplett said.

Once he is cleared to return, he will ride with a knee brace.

Triplett was originally diagnosed with a torn MCL/PCL on Saturday night after he was kicked in the leg by Coyote after being thrown from the bull at the 3.69-second mark in Round of the Ty Murray Invitational.

Triplett admitted he was surprised and excited about his MRI results.

“Well, my first reaction was I still have this year to follow up on my dreams, so I am going to work my hardest and get it back to 100 percent and go from there,” Triplett said. “I am jacked. It is probably the best news ever. The way he was making it sound, it sounded like I was out forever, so I was really bummed out. I kind of felt like the whole year was gone for me.”

Triplett has been icing his knee and has seen some of the swelling go down since Saturday night. He will stay off the injured leg for about a week before exploring some possible physical therapy options.

The Columbia Falls, Montana, bull rider has been atop the world standings for the last eight weeks since taking over the top spot following the BFTS event in Sacramento, California. He currently has a 385-point lead on Joao Ricardo Vieira.

Triplett is tied for the BFTS lead in event wins (two) and round wins (five) and is currently riding at a career-best, 52.63-percent clip (20-for-38).

“I worked super hard to get where I am at,” Triplett concluded. “Now with that whole relief off my shoulders, I can get back to working out in a couple of weeks and really get back to the grind.

“I know that World Championship is not out of reach anymore.”

Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko

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