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William Pittman Suffers Career Threatening Injury

National Finals Rodeo Bareback rider, William Pittman II, seriously injured during competition in the Greeley, CO. stampede, has undergone spinal surgery at the North Colorado Medical Center and is facing at least six months of rehabilitation before determining whether he can continue his rodeo career.

Pittman, a two-time qualifier for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo from Malakoff, Texas, was injured June 28 when his horse, Rim Rock, reared back into the chute after the gate opened, then surged just out of the chute before falling back on Pittman.

Rick Foster of the Justin Sports Medicine Team said Pittman suffered a fractured lumbar vertebra (L2) and required surgery to stabilize his spine, involving the insertion of rods and screws. He will wear a brace for three months.

"William was very fortunate in the sense that there was minimal damage to the spinal cord," Foster said. "He has functional movement now and the prognosis is for a complete recovery. He will walk and ride a horse and live his life normally."

The doctors who performed the surgery have, however, recommended that Pittman, 35, consider this a career-ending injury. They estimate that rehab could take 6-12 months.

"That's a topic [retirement] that has not even been talked about yet," said Pittman's wife, Dusty. "There is plenty of time to consider that."

Pittman's best season was 2001 when he finished 10th in the world standings with earnings of $93,445 and was fifth in the average at the Wrangler NFR. He was 14th in the world in 2000 with $74,454, highlighted by a win the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Courtesy: The HorseTV Channel News, http://www.horsetv.com


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