Sport

Tuesday 16 January 2018

St Nicholas Abbey facing "critical" few weeks in his recovery

St Nicholas Abbey ridden by jockey Joseph O'Brien, pictured winning the Coronation Cup
St Nicholas Abbey ridden by jockey Joseph O'Brien, pictured winning the Coronation Cup

St Nicholas Abbey faces a "critical" few weeks as the multiple Group One winner continues his fight to fully recover from a fractured pastern originally suffered during the summer and complications that ensued.

Aidan O'Brien's star had to be retired after suffering the leg injury on the gallops at Ballydoyle when being prepared for the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Just two days after he underwent a major leg operation at Fethard Equine Hospital in July, the six-year-old had to have emergency surgery to be treated for colic.

 He had a further setback in August when it was discovered a steel weight-bearing pin in a cannon bone had broken, and last month was hit by a serious blow relating to "mild laminitic changes in the left fore".

A latest update from Coolmore read: "St Nicholas Abbey is struggling to overcome the laminitis in his left front foot, this is indeed life threatening and is the single biggest complication he has faced since his initial lifesaving surgery.

"The worry is that if the condition progresses and further sinking of the pedal bone takes place it may prolapse through the sole of his foot.

"In spite of this St Nicholas Abbey is very comfortable, being just a little ouchy when walking in his first steps and better thereafter, his appetite and demeanour remain incredibly good.

"His intensive veterinary treatment continues and includes maggot therapy for the slight discharge at the toe of the laminitic foot and a daily session on a vibrating plate.

"The next few weeks are critical for St Nicholas Abbey - we are just hoping that he can turn the corner."

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