Neck injury sidelines Leighton Aspell for at least six weeks

Best of times: Leighton Aspell after he and Many Clouds won the 2015 Grand National
By Lewis Porteous

Two-time Grand National hero Leighton Aspell is set for a minimum of six weeks on the sidelines after fracturing and cracking bones in his neck in a fall at Hereford last Tuesday.

The good news for Aspell is that no surgery is required and he returned to his family home in West Sussex after a brief spell in hospital at the end of last week.

“I’ve fractured the C5 vertebrae in my neck and cracked the C4,” said the rider, who landed back-to-back Nationals on Pineau De Re and Many Clouds in 2014 and 2015.

He added: “Luckily no surgery is required but it’s six weeks in a neck collar, they’ll check it again then and hopefully we can make a plan.

“If the news is good I’ll be able to start thinking about getting back on board and it’s not going to be a long, long time off.”

Aspell was injured when his mount Jurby, trained like Many Clouds by Oliver Sherwood and owned by Trevor Hemmings, fell at the sixth in a 2m5½f novice hurdle, with Aspell initially confident he had escaped any serious damage.

He said: “It was a routine fall but I landed the wrong way. Although it was sore I was hopeful it wasn’t bad but x-rays suggested otherwise.

“I had two days in the hospital for them to decide what was the best treatment and they were happy with six weeks in a collar. It’s a stable fracture and they’re happy I’ll make a full recovery.”

The injury rules him out of this year’s Randox Health Grand National on April 14.

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