Racing: 'Slow recovery' for Murphy: Greg Wood reports on the condition of the seriously injured jump jockey

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The Independent Online
DOCTORS treating Declan Murphy, who suffered serious head injuries in a fall at Haydock Park on Monday, issued a fresh bulletin on his condition yesterday, offering some encouragement, but were unable to comment on whether the jockey will make a full recovery.

Murphy has yet to regain consciousness after his last-flight fall from the hurdler Arcot. After the fall he was kicked in the head by a following runner. He is under heavy sedation at the Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery in Liverpool. His brothers, Eamon, also a jockey, and Pat, a trainer, are in constant attendance. 'We are all devastated,' Eamon said yesterday. 'Declan's okay but I don't really want to talk about it much at the moment.'

The injured jockey's breathing is being assisted but, according to David Dalton, the hospital's chief executive, 'this is entirely normal in a case like this. The progress of his clinical management is going as it should.'

Surgeons operated on Murphy on Monday night to remove a blood clot from his brain. 'The operation was a success,' Dalton said. 'He had a further brain scan this morning and the neurosurgeons were happy with the result. His condition remains critical, but stable.'

The prognosis for Murphy will become clearer in a few days. 'It is going to be a slow, steady recovery, but we should have much more idea where we stand by the end of the week,' Dalton said.

By coincidence, the Jockey Club's chief medical adviser, Dr Michael Turner, is due to make a statement tomorrow about a new helmet for jockeys, designed over the past few months.