Craig du Plooy, sidelined for over half of last month and at least the rest of this month, had cortisone injected into his spine this week, writes Michael Clower.
He said: “I have been battling with a problem in my back since I returned from my last injury three months ago. It’s basically the result of wear and tear over the years – I have broken a lot of bones in the past including fracturing my spine.
“This problem is not really getting any better so I had the facet blocks done again. I have a slight tear in the disc between the L4 and L5. The cortisone goes into the facet joint under local anaesthetic and I’d already had it done on the L4. This time it was the L5. It’s not a solution but purely for pain relief.
“Apparently you have got to let the back heal – you can’t work your way through it – and so I’ve had to take it easy. I find that hard and I’m hoping that it is not going to take more than a few months otherwise they may have to operate.”
Du Plooy’s resurgence under the Snaith Racing banner, with the help of coaching from Felix Coetzee, was painfully interrupted when he broke bones in his hand at the beginning of November. He was out of action until early February.
He plays an important role in the Snaith operation, riding work every day as well as being second jockey, and the stable has engaged Brandon May to help fill the gap.
But Du Plooy’s injury has not prevented him continuing in his part-time job as tutor of the Cape Town work riders and he plans to be at Kenilworth on Saturday to watch his pupils in action in the opening race