Adventures of Sinbad: On The Dude and shoulder disappointment
James Simpson-Daniel's weekly column: The Adventures of Sinbad.
Brought to you in association with rugby charity Wooden Spoon
ONE minute I was hoping my shoulder injury would be a minor problem, the next I was recovering from surgery and preparing for an extended lay-off.
It felt as though everything happened very quickly last week, especially as the specialist was able to squeeze me in because of a cancellation.
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I'm massively disappointed to be missing three maybe four months – but when I look at the fact Alex Brown won't play again this season, all I can do is feel for him.
I can't feel sorry for myself – because Browny's in a far tougher situation than me.
I know I would be gutted to be out for the rest of the season, and I know Browny is too.
What I'm focusing on now though is aiming to be back fit in three months rather than four.
That's a challenge that I want to get to grips with – if I could do that then I could be back playing by February.
Professional sport can sometimes be about reassessing depending on the situation – and if you don't look to the positives then I think you can lose a bit of sanity.
When the doctors had completed the exploratory surgery they found two tears in my shoulder.
The more serious was a rotator cuff tear, and that's what's likely to take longest to recover.
It was a thigh problem that meant I had to leave the field in the Harlequins game.
I'd thought that injury would be chance to tidy up the odd niggle, and I thought the shoulder would be one of them.
It's ended up far worse than expected, but now I just have to throw myself into the rehab.
A week of magnificent highs and desperately disappointing lows:
I HAVE been fortunate enough to experience some fantastic moments at Cheltenham Racecourse over the years.
But Saturday’s victory for Monbeg Dude ranks right up there among the best of all.
It was a much-needed tonic after a very tough week to be honest.
The horse that I part-own with Mike Tindall and Nicky Robinson performed brilliantly to scoop the Henrietta Knight Handicap Chase.
Nicky came across from London, and he and I went down to the racecourse, while The Lord (Tindall) watched at home before the London Welsh game.
It was a great – and certainly a new – experience – Nicky and I had to ask the way to the winners’ enclosure!
The whole thing passed in a bit of a blur, and I can’t work out whether that’s because of the meds for my shoulder, or just because of the elation of the victory.
I’m so pleased for our friend and the trainer Michael Scudamore, it’s testament to his hard work.
It was his first victory at Cheltenham, just as it was ours as owners, and I think it’s great we could all share in that together.
Monbeg Dude is still only a baby really, and already he’s had two wins, one third place, been pulled up and unseated the jockey in his five races over fences.
We’re not going to get carried away with him, but that’s a decent start.
Plenty of good horses never win at Cheltenham, so if it’s just this one win he ends up with, he’ll still have done brilliantly.
But obviously we’ll keep working with him and just see what happens next.
I WILL be honest, I didn’t really take any notice of last week’s tip Grand Crus as he ran in the race directly after my horse Monbeg Dude won and my mind was elsewhere!
That said, I am hoping to get back on track with a decent each way flutter for you this week.
I’m plumping for Saphir River in the Don’t Settle For Less “Fixed Brush” Handicap Hurdle at Haydock on Saturday.