Maryland's leading rider this season Sheldon Russell will undergo have surgery to repair an injury to his right foot suffered in a pre-race spill Sept. 9 at Laurel Park. The 34-year-old received the news Monday after visiting Dr. Jacob Wisbeck, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in foot and ankle injuries at MedStar Health in Timonium, Md. Russell said a date for surgery won't be determined before a follow-up visit Sept. 20.
“What we found out is it's the main bone in the foot and needs to be addressed,” Russell said. “If I opted not to do the surgery and heal it by myself there's chances of dislocation [and other complications]. He's given me another week to get the swelling down.”
Russell said he was diagnosed with a Lisfranc injury, involving both the bones and ligaments in middle part of his foot, due to the way he landed and causing separation between his first two toes. Surgery may include inserting hardware to stabilize the area.
“I'll sit down with him next Monday at 8 o'clock and we'll X-ray the foot [again]. Hopefully, some of the swelling has gone down and we can sort of schedule something,” he added. “Right now, that's probably the route I'm taking to do the right thing. I'm going to be off regardless, so why not get it fixed properly.”
Russell was hurt after being thrown when Little Bit of That, a 2-year-old Maryland-bred Great Notion filly trained by his wife, Brittany Russell, reared in the post parade of her scheduled first start. She got loose and was scratched from the maiden special weight event, and is entered again to make her debut Thursday under jockey Forest Boyce.