ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. ― Seven of the top bull riders in the world – Gage Gay, L.J. Jenkins, Billy Robinson, Ben Jones, Sean Willingham, Eduardo Aparecido and Justin Robards – were unable to finish the Ty Murray Invitational this weekend because of various injuries.
Gay bruised his neck and left shoulder (free arm) and also sprained his left shoulder(type 1 AC sprain) when he was hooked while being thrown fromCorpus Red during the second round. He was originally listed as probable, but after going 0-for-2 in the first two long rounds he opted to sit out Sunday’s final long round and is probable for next week’s Built Ford Tough Series event in Fresno, Calif.
“I feel pretty bad right now,” Gay said. “I just feel like I’ve been beat all to heck.”
The 19-year-old also added that he’s never been hit as hard as he was Saturday night.
“Nothing’s broke and my shoulder has a slight separation in it, but not big enough to make a difference and I should be good for Fresno,” Gay said. “They just told me to let the swelling go down in my neck because that’s really what’s bothering me and they’ll work on me next week when I get to Fresno.”
The rookie called it a “crazy” weekend.
For the first time in his career, Gay hung a spur in his rope on Friday night, and he said that Saturday night he “about got (his) head knocked off.”
Jenkins and Robinson missed out on the Built Ford Tough Championship Round after being injured in Round 3.
Jenkins strained his right shoulder (riding arm) and rotator cuff when he got hung up on Fully Loaded, while Robinson strained his left groin attempting to ride American Hustle. Jenkins is questionable for next week and Robinson is probable.
Two others – Renato Nunes and Matt Triplett – were injured on Sunday as well.
Nunes strained his right hamstring when his spur hung in his bull rope as he was bucked off by Tea Time, and Triplett competed in the championship round despite sustaining a concussion when his head hit the ground while being thrown from Sucker Punch during Round 3.
Aparecido, who started the weekend with a bruised left elbow and shoulder (riding arm) along with a strained left hip adductor, was scratched from Sunday afternoon’s third round due to a left shoulder contusion/sprain sustained in Round 2 on Saturday night at The Pit. He is questionable for Fresno.
Jones and Willingham withdrew after the opening round on Friday night.
Jones sustained a sprained neck in Round 1 when he landed on his head after being thrown from his opening-round bull, Raven Flyer. He was transported to UNM Medical Center for diagnostic testing and was in attendance Saturday night. He remains questionable for Fresno, and he is scheduled for a follow-up appointment with Dr. Tandy Freeman on Wednesday.
Willingham is out with a series of injuries that include a broken right foot, possible broken jaw and a lacerated chin that was stitched in the training room after being struck by Spotted Velvet’s horn in Round 1. He is questionable for Fresno.
Justin Robards, who separated his lower left ribs during his Round 1 ride attempt on Dirt Devil, competed in Round 2 before withdrawing from Round 3 on Sunday afternoon. Josh Birks sustained a small laceration and a contusion of his nose when he was hit by Memphis Blues’ horn in Round 2 and was fortunate enough to finish the event.
Zane Lambert returned to competition after being out for multiple events due to a right ankle sprain sustained in Kansas City, Mo.
Other top riders atop the ever-growing list of riders that are dealing with injuries on the BFTS includes J.B. Mauney (sprained right ankle), Robson Palermo (left groin) and Pistol Robinson (sprained wrist and riding hand). All three missed the Ty Murray Invitational and are probable for Fresno.
Mauney confirmed on Sunday via text message that he’ll be in Fresno.
“Swelling is going down,” wrote the defending World Champion.
Mike Lee was out this weekend with a torn meniscus in his right knee. He is scheduled for surgery on Tuesday and is expected to return to competition in Nampa, Idaho.
Claudio Crisostomo is out with a left clavicle fracture for which he underwent surgery last week. He is expected to return to competition in six weeks.
There is no timetable for a return for Kody Lostroh. The 2009 World Champion remains out with a strained extensor tendon of his left thumb (riding hand) and sprained left wrist that he suffered in Chicago. He is also dealing with two small fractures.
Nathan Schaper is out three to six months with a broken left leg he suffered after being stepped on by Bushwacker in Anaheim, Calif., which required surgery and the placement of a rod in his tibia.
Reese Cates is out for six months with a right shoulder dislocation that required surgical stabilization last week.
Shane Proctor has been out of competition following surgical reconstruction of an unstable left shoulder in January.
Like Schaper, Proctor is expected to return to competition in time for the stretch run of the BFTS following the fast-approaching summer break.
A number of riders continue to compete with injuries that are regularly treated in the training room prior to and throughout each BFTS event.
Among the riders being treated are Stormy Wing (strained right groin), TyPozzobon (strained right hip adductor and a sprained right wrist), Ryan Dirteater (torn posterior cruciate ligament graft in his reconstructed left knee and a bruised right forearm/elbow), Jory Markiss (torn posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee), Marco Eguchi (bruised right elbow and right shoulder), Silvano Alves (right shoulder separation), Chase Outlaw(torn ligament in his left elbow and a right shoulder sprain/strain), Douglas Duncan (sprained left hand) and Nunes (unstable right shoulder).
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC.
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