Dual Grand National winning jockey Davy Russell is close to a comeback after recovering from a horror fall.
The 41-year-old revealed that he expects to be back on a horse in the next couple of days.
And he urged punters not to write off Grand National legend Tiger Roll in his bid to win the big one at Aintree for a third time.
Russell accepts he is unlikely to be fit enough to partner star novice chaser Envoi Allen at Punchestown on Sunday.
The jockey fractured his vertebrae in a first fence fall from Doctor Duffy in the Munster National at Limerick in October.
The three-times Irish champion jockey damaged his C6 and C7 vertebrae and dislocated his T1, which needed traction.
“I’m hoping to be on a horse in the next couple of days and I’m looking forward to it now,” said Russell. “I’m lucky to be going at all, but I’m now in great form.
“There are plenty of nice horses to look forward to – Envoi Allen and of course Tiger Roll. I’m very excited.
“As for riding Envoi Allen at Punchestown on January 17, yeah, that’s probably a bit ahead of me, I’d say. But the scans are good.”
During the dark moments when he was in traction, requiring bolts in his head to allow a weight to enable the T1 to go back into place, thoughts of returning to partner those two equine stars kept the flame burning for the popular 41-year-old.
“I got goosebumps watching Envoi Allen win his two chases,” said Russell. “He’s something else. I’d have given anything to be on his back.”
Russell said he had not lost faith in Tiger Roll despite his poor effort on his latest start at Cheltenham in November when pulled up.
“Yeah, he was disappointing, but at the same time you wouldn’t be surprised, he’s done that in the past.
“I’m sure they will get him back in good shape. He will be a better horse when he has some sun on his back.”
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