PUEBLO, Colo. – Two-time World Champion J.B. Mauney’s bid at winning a record-tying third world title in 2017 came to a screeching halt this past weekend at the Calgary Stampede.
According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Mauney underwent reconstructive right shoulder (free arm) surgery Tuesday morning to repair a multitude of serious injuries after Mauney was injured riding Cowahbunga last Friday afternoon.
Mauney, who is currently No. 5 in the PBR world standings, is expected to miss six months.
Barring a remarkably fast recovery, Mauney will be out for the remainder of the 2017 season.
“J.B. had an extensive shoulder reconstruction that included ligament repair, rotator cuff repair, transplantation of his bicep tendon and removal of bone fragments,” Freeman said Tuesday evening.
“He will be out for six months.”
Freeman added that Mauney’s injury was not a typical sports shoulder dislocation. Normally, Freeman inserts somewhere between 4-6 anchors for a normal, uncomplicated shoulder dislocation.
As part of Mauney’s surgery, Freeman inserted 13 anchors and one screw into the future PBR Ring of Honor inductee’s shoulder.
“This isn’t the same sort of thing that most of the guys get fixed,” Freeman said. “Instead of the ligament tearing off the socket, his tore off the bone. It wasn’t just a little bit of the ligament. It tore off the entire front half of his shoulder. And it tore the rotator cuff tendon completely off. I don’t know if I ever saw that tendon completely torn off. I have seen most of it torn off, but I never have seen it completely torn off.”
Mauney was unavailable for comment Tuesday evening as he remained in the Dallas area for further evaluation and monitoring alongside his wife, Samantha.
The 30-year-old had looked dominant in Calgary until he was caught up underneath Cowahbunga following a gritty 90.5-point ride as the bovine athlete came out of the chute bucking backwards at the Calgary Stampede Fairgrounds.
Mauney dismounted in an awkward position close to the chutes right at the 8-second mark and was then trampled by Cowahbunga.
The richest bull rider in Western sports immediately lay limp in the arena and was in tremendous pain before being tended to by the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sports Medicine Team.
Mauney had originally been diagnosed by Dr. Ralph Strother with a dislocated right shoulder, which was put back into place on-site, but there were fears that Mauney had sustained serious damage to his shoulder.
“I knew my shoulder was out,” Mauney told Kristen Odland of the Calgary Herald this weekend. “I told them when they picked me up that my shoulder was out and they popped that back in before they sent me to the hospital and wanted to get X-Rays. They said it was broke. And I was like, ‘Ok, well they can screw that back down and I’ll be back (for the finals).’
“The MRI’s came back and it was a lot worse than what I was hoping.”
Mauney said in a text message to PBR.com on Sunday the results were “Not good” and Freeman confirmed those fears on Monday during a follow-up appointment at his Dallas office.
“The position of the arm plays a big factor in what happens when the nature of force are applied to it,” Freeman said. “His arm was in a bad position. It was in a position where instead of coming out the front, it came out the bottom. That is what leads to this kind of stuff. His arm was up over his head and extended and when he landed and that bull stepped on him it forced his arm so that it came out the bottom and knocked the bone off in the process.”
The ride earned Mauney the Pool B victory at the Stampede, but the injuries will cost him the remainder of the season.
Mauney will stay overnight in the hospital for observation and will have another follow-up with Freeman on Thursday. His surgery lasted close to six hours.
The 12-year veteran competes very sparingly during the PBR’s Built Ford Tough Series summer break, but he had begun to heat up with one month remaining until the BFTS resumes in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Aug. 12-13.
The Mooresville, North Carolina, cowboy made an emphatic 91-point ride on Cochise to defeat 2016 World Champion Cooper Davis in a $25,000 head-to-head matchup in Vinita, Oklahoma, last month and was 3-for-4 in Calgary with two round wins.
Mauney looked poised for another historical Mauney-esque second-half run this Fall like he had done in 2013 and 2015 to win the top championship prize ($1 million) in professional bull riding.
Many considered Mauney the favorite for the 2017 World Championship.
Not to mention, Mauney was also only two rides away from joining 2004 World Champion Mike Lee and 2008 World Champion Guilherme Marchi in the prestigious 500 ride club.
Mauney now will have to turn his Fall focus on something he never has had to do for this long in his career – rehabilitation.
“There is a lot to (recovery from this injury), but he acts like he is going to do what it takes,” Freeman said. “If he doesn’t, he will be watching bull riding.”
Mauney has never missed the PBR Built Ford Tough World Finals during his career despite a laundry list of injuries including a lacerated liver, torn ACL/MCL, broken jaw, concussions, separated shoulder, broken ribs, broken hand, broken ribs, bruised kidney and spleen, fractured hip and a broken leg.
Tuesday was Mauney’s first surgery since undergoing an operation on his left riding hand in 2012.
Based on his current world ranking, Mauney will qualify for the Finals again this year, but Mauney’s streak of 10 straight Top-10 finishes in the world standings will likely come to an end.
Mauney finishes the season 21-for-47 (44.68 percent) in 14 events – the fewest of his career since competing in 15 during his rookie year.
As he told the Calgary Herald, injuries are simply part of the game, and while disappointed, Mauney always knew this was a possibility ever since he first picked up a bull rope as a kid.
“But that’s bull riding and the way it goes . . . when you’ve been riding bulls as long as I have, you get used to it,” Mauney said. “It’s going to happen, everybody knows that. It wouldn’t have been the exact time I’d like for it to happen, but you’re going to get hurt and that’s all part of it.”
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