Dominguez Discusses Rehabilitation, Desire To Return To Racing
By Jon Forbes | 02/15/2013 12:58 PM ET
Jockey Ramon Dominguez, injured in a spill at Aqueduct Racetrack on January 18, discussed his rehabilitation and desire to resume his career in a February 14 interview with NYRA television analyst and former jockey Richard Migliore.
Dominguez, 36, suffered a skull fracture in the accident and spent four nights in intensive care at Jamaica Hospital in Queens before he went to New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. He was transferred to the latter hospital’s Medical Step-Down Unit on January 26 and later spent approximately a week at the Burke Rehabilitation Center.
It was Dominguez’s second skull fracture, with the rider having suffered a similar injury in 1998.
“This [fracture] was probably a little more severe,” said Dominguez in the interview. “Having said that, I wasn’t overly concerned because the doctors, from the get-go, felt like I was going to recover well and they were very happy with my condition even from the beginning. They said I was exceeding their expectations, and I really didn’t last too long [at the rehabilitation center].”
Dominguez said being in top physical condition has aided him in his recovery.
“I feel like the prognosis the first week I was [at the Burke Rehabilitation Center] was excellent,” said Dominguez. “The physical therapy couldn’t do a whole lot for me, so therefore I need to talk to my doctor again because I feel like I should be at a higher level [of therapy]. Maybe a lot of that has to do with being an athlete your level of fitness is pretty high.”
Dominguez added that while there is no timetable for his return, he remains eager to get back to competition.
“When I was at my previous rehab center [the issue of when I might be able to return to riding was] one of the questions I asked a couple of times to the doctors,” said Dominguez. “I feel like maybe it was maybe too early for them tell me I could come back in an ‘X’ amount of time. From then on I just decided to focus on my exercises and my physical therapy and try to get better. I don’t you’d call it selfish or just foolish, but I’m definitely dying to know when I can come back to riding horses.”
Throughout it all, Dominguez has maintained his sense of humor.
“I feel physically capable of running a marathon, as I mentioned to one of the therapists,” said Dominguez. “And mentally if I’m not sharp I don’t think it’s due to the injury; I’ve probably been this way always. So I feel pretty good, and, God-willing, I can come back to riding racehorses in a short amount of time.”