PUEBLO, Colo. – Jess Lockwood knew immediately that something was wrong with his riding hand once he was lifted to safety at Dreamstyle Arena, aka The Pit, after Canadian Mist reared back and crushed him against the back wall of the bucking chutes during Sunday’s championship round.
Lockwood’s left hand was stuck in his bull rope and the force of Canadian Mist twisted and pulled on his hand as he tried to squirm to safety out of the chutes.
By the time Lockwood got to the back of the chutes, his hand had gone numb and was starting to slowly swell up.
The 20-year-old accepted his re-ride option and was eventually bucked off by Gambini in 3.33 seconds.
The damage was already done, though.
“(Dr. Tandy Freeman) believes the ligament may be torn,” Lockwood said on Monday. “My hand is the size of a baseball right now and I can’t move it. I wasn’t too smart there in the championship round. After I did that it was freaking numb and swelled up right away. I couldn’t feel it at all.”
Lockwood is going to see Dr. Bo Frederick, an Orthopedic Hand Surgeon in Dallas, on Wednesday to have the injury analyzed.
The reigning World Champion has decided to sit out the upcoming Ak-Chin Invitational, presented by Cooper Tires, this weekend.
He was amidst a streak of three Top-10 finishes on the PBR’s premier series and had tied for the Round 1 victory in Albuquerque with an 88.25-point ride on Bar Thirty One.
“Hopefully he says do nothing with it and it will be good by Sioux Falls,” Lockwood said. “That little Easter break should help. If I sit out now, that is a three-week break and I only miss one event.”
Lockwood previously damaged the CMC joint in his hand at the end of his 2016 rookie season and he was able to let the hand heal naturally.
According to Lockwood, this is not the same injury.
“My rookie year was the joint,” he explained. “I kind of chipped some bone off it, while this is the actual ligaments. Tandy checked that same joint and it is not that. It is the actual ligament.”
Lockwood is ranked 13th in the world standings and is 10-for-30 (33.33 percent) in 10 25th PBR: Unleash The Beast events.
He missed one event earlier this year because of a torn MCL.
The Volborg, Montana, bull rider is the latest rider inside the Top 15 of the world standings to have to miss time because of an injury.
World No. 2 Luciano de Castro informed the PBR competition department on Wednesday that he is going to be out for a few weeks after sustaining a knee injury in Albuquerque, while No. 5 Dener Barbosa (broken foot), No. 7 Cooper Davis (ring finger riding hand), No. 11 Derek Kolbaba (torn right ACL/MCL), No. 12 Guilherme Marchi (concussion and a sprained right sternoclavicular joint) and No. 15 Gage Gay (reconstructive right knee surgery) are all out.
Regardless, Lockwood said he rather get the injuries done and over with now before the stretch run to the 2018 PBR World Finals during the second half.
“It isn’t too aggravating to me,” he said. “I rather get all this out of the way during the beginning of the year and have a strong finish at the end of the year. That is where a world title is won too. The back half of the season. Look at Coop (Cooper Davis). He came back from 18th at the break (last year) and finished in world title contention and third. It is all about the second half.
“Everyone gets fired up going into the second half. It is just typical.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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