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Paul Hanagan close to making return to saddle | Racing News

Paul Hanagan is well on the road to recovery after breaking his back in a fall at Newcastle in February.

The two-time champion Flat jockey has yet to set a specific date for his return.

But as he nears the mighty career total of 2,000 winners, there is a chance he may be back in action before he reaches another significant landmark – his 40th birthday, on September 8.

Hanagan is happy with the way his rehabilitation is going and he is riding out regularly.

He has been on the sidelines since he fractured his T6 vertebra in a fall from Requinto Dawn, who clipped heels a furlong from home in a six-furlong handicap.

“The rehab is going well, and I’ve been riding out nearly every day for three weeks now,” he said.

“It couldn’t be going better. I’ve still not got a date for coming back – but it’s not going to be far away, maybe a few weeks.

“I don’t want to put anything down in black and white, because if it didn’t happen I’d be disappointed. I can’t really say a date, but the way it’s going I don’t think it’s going to be far away.”

Hanagan’s recovery was slow until he underwent keyhole surgery – which proved a turning point.

“I couldn’t do much when I broke my back and the weather was good,” he said.

“I was in a bit of a cast around me and couldn’t do much at all.

“I had the operation keyhole, and it went really well. It just did the job right.

“Since I had the operation, it was like the click of a switch. It was that good.”

Hanagan, whose major victories include Taghrooda’s 2014 Oaks and King George double for Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, was champion jockey in 2010 and 2011.

He is just 24 winners short of 2,000.

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