Jockey Paco Lopez, who broke his collarbone and suffered six fractured ribs March 17 in a spill at Gulfstream Park, was released from Memorial Regional Hospital March 22 and is in “good spirits,” according to his agent, Cory Moran.
“He’s sitting up, cracking jokes, he’s an amazing guy,” Moran said. “Paco doesn’t feel any pain from the collarbone, but it’s the ribs that are bothering him a little. I spoke to the doctor and he said the ribs are fractured but not separated, so he doesn’t need surgery. The injuries all occurred to his left side. He’s very fortunate and I’m just glad he’s doing OK.”
Lopez, Gulfstream’s third-leading rider at the time of the spill after topping the track's riding standings in 2011, is expected to miss up to eight weeks.
“Young guys always seem to want to come back sooner and move a lot quicker,” Moran said. “But, honestly, I don’t want him to come back until he’s 150% from the doctor. I want to wait until he’s bouncing off the walls and screaming to ride again.”