In case you haven't heard about this yet, Mclain Ward suffered a shattered kneecap (though originally reported as a broken femur) in a fall during the Grand Prix in Wellington yesterday. For the full story, please read yesterday's post first.
I haven't been able to find too much news yet, but there is an update reported on the COTH thread. According to someone who spoke with Lee McKeever (Mclain's barn manager, and one of the members of Sapphire's "team"), Mclain's surgery went very well last night, three of the four parts of the fracture are now held together with wires and pins, and another piece was removed. At this point, Mclain's doctors are estimating eight to ten weeks of no weight bearing, and a total of twelve weeks before riding.
Of course, the biggest question on everyone's mind right now is the Olympics, and whether one of the strongest members of our team will be able to participate. Given the schedule above, it doesn't sound like Mclain will be riding before the Olympic trials in March, but at this point that's speculation, and I am going to remain optimistic where one of my heroes is concerned.
Even if the trials don't happen, there is still a chance Mclain will be able to participate. As this Star-Ledger article pointed out, "[i]f Ward misses the trials but heals after that, he could still have a shot at
the team as a subjective choice, provided he is able to ride and do well in a
series of observation shows during the spring." If anyone can pass a subjective test, it's Mclain Ward. A Phelps Sports article issued this evening also stated that it's possible that Mclain will receive a bye to perform in the Olympics, given that Sapphire ("Sara") has two gold medals and Antares F ("Andy") has a gold medal from the Pan Am games.
I am not going to give up hope. An athlete of his caliber certainly has access to the best medical care and all possible advantages for a speedy recovery. For now, I simply wish Mclain a quick return to health and the horses and sport that he loves.