McNamara facing retirement after spinal surgery
Well-known jockey Robbie McNamara may be forced to retire early after undergoing gruelling spinal surgery in a Dublin hospital.
He suffered serious injuries following a fall at Wexford racecourse on Friday.
He was moved to the high dependency unit in the Mater after receiving initial treatment in the local hospital in Wexford.
His injuries included a number of fractures, abdominal bleeding, and a collapsed lung.
Speaking to the Herald, Dr Adrian McGoldrick, chief medical advisor for the Irish Turf Club, said the jockey will be out of action "for the foreseeable future".
"He's stable and in very good spirits. His other injuries are stabilising so it's a matter of letting him recover.
"He was very ill on Friday night and Saturday morning - but he's much more stable now."
He also said the popular jockey won't announce his future career plans "for some time."
"The next phase is recuperation - and he'll take it from there.
"Usually when you have spinal surgery, and he has multiple injuries, it's less likely that you will ride again.
"But he'll have to wait and see how things evolve."
In an emotional tribute to the popular jockey, trainer Jim Culloty prior to Saturday's Grand National said: "My prayers are with him.
"As well as eight broken ribs and a punctured lung, he fractured his T11 vertebrae and there is a bit of spinal damage," he said.
"There is a big haematoma on his spine pressing on his spinal cord and they are trying to remove that at the moment."
McNamara was due to ride last year's Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, Lord Windermere, in the National prior to his fall in the Cahore Point Handicap Hurdle.