ANAHEIM, Calif. – World No. 3 Ryan Dirteater’s pursuit of the 2018 world title will take a brief hiatus after the 28-year-old was stepped on by veteran PBR bull Beaver Creek Beau in Round 2 of the Anaheim Invitational.
Dirteater informed PBR.com on Sunday via text message that he was diagnosed with four fractured ribs and a bruised lung after the 2,000-plus pound bovine athlete’s back right foot came crashing down on him in 1.46 seconds.
The Hulbert, Oklahoma, bull rider immediately rushed his way to the PBR sports medicine room, holding his chest Dr. Tandy Freeman and the PBR sports medicine team then had Dirteater transported to UC Irvine Medical Center for further evaluation.
Dirteater was eventually released from the hospital on Sunday morning. He is out for the upcoming Caterpillar Classic next weekend in Kansas City, Missouri, and, according to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Dirteater will be out for the next 3 to 6 weeks.
“I have felt better,” Dirteater said on Sunday before posting a photo of himself from the hospital with the caption, “Sometimes the bull wins.”
It was a rough ending for Dirteater after he began the weekend by splitting the Round 1 victory with Stetson Lawrence. Dirteater earned his second round win of the season by riding Renewed Spirit for 87.5 points.
“I know I don’t have very long left in this sport,” Dirteater said after Round 1. “I am getting close to 30. I know I am going to give it everything I got these next two to three years and see what happens.”
Dirteater, who had won the Express Employment Professionals Invitational two weeks ago in Oklahoma City, trails world leader Dener Barbosa by 290 points in the world standings.
Reigning World Champion Jess Lockwood was also roughed up in Anaheim when he got hung up aboard Blue Gangster in Round 2. Lockwood got whipped around and slammed to the ground repeatedly before finally getting dislodged. Freeman diagnosed him with bruising of both legs before Lockwood bucked off Deerango in the championship round.
Lockwood is 15th in the world standings.
Meanwhile, No. 4 Cooper Davis continues to struggle with a sprained right ring finger on his riding hand and finished 0-for-2 in Anaheim.
Davis grasped at his riding following each of his two buckoffs – Livin Large (3.54 seconds) and Over the Top (3.75 seconds) – at the Honda Center.
2017 World Champion runner-up Derek Kolbaba avoided a scare in Anaheim after originally believing he had broken his right collarbone when he was bucked off and hit three times by Frostywhirl in Round 1.
Kolbaba spent four hours at an Urgent Care in Orange County on Saturday waiting to get an X-ray, but the time was worth the wait as Kolbaba was diagnosed by Freeman with a fractured bone spur.
The 21-year-old was cleared by Freeman to return to action on Saturday night, but Kolbaba was bucked off by Lifting Lives in 2.94 seconds.
“It is pretty sore,” Kolbaba said. “Apparently there is a bunch of calcification around the end of it that I had previously and it broke up. (Freeman) said it is not like collarbone is cracked or anything. It is just up to dealing with the pain. Hell, it is only 8 seconds. I think it will be alright.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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