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Horse Racing: Fitzgerald remains upbeat over op.

Byline: BY CHRIS WRIGHT

MICK FITZGERALD is upbeat as he faces more surgery today on the back injury he sustained in a fall from L'Ami in the John Smith's Grand National.

The 37 years-old rider had an initial eighthour operation to realign three vertebrae and two discs at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital last week. He is now in Nuffield Hospital in Oxford near his home.

Yesterday, he said: "I'm not too bad at the moment, my two little boys have been in to see me and they cheered me up no end, with Chloe my girlfriend.

"I can't thank the doctors and staff up in Liverpool enough, the doctor who did the operation performed fantastic surgery on me and put me in the position where I'm okay to be operated on again tomorrow.

"To be closer to home now where I can see Chloe and the kids regularly means so much more. I'll be having two operations, one on my knee and then another on my neck, at least it beats having to recover twice!

"I've been pretty mobile, I'm able to walk about and the doctors up in Liverpool told me they wanted me to get moving because when you have the big frame on your head everything is stable, it just makes life easier.

"I don't know how long the operation is going to take but they should be able to stabilise the whole thing, with a bit of luck I'll be up and flying about in no time."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 14, 2008
Words:252
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