(Photo courtesy Justin Felisko)

(Editor’s Note: This is a release from Justin Felisko of the PBR)

ARLINGTON, Tex. – 2016 Rookie of the Year Jess Lockwood was fighting to make the 8-second mark on Cooper Tires Brown Sugar Saturday night at the Frontier Communication’s Iron Cowboy, presented by Kawasaki, when he felt a pop in his left groin.

Milliseconds later, Lockwood felt just how hard the ground inside AT&T Stadium is.

“I tore my groin last night,” Lockwood said Sunday before THE AMERICAN rodeo. “I left with that bull and I squeezed to get ahold of him and I felt it popped. It is torn, but I don’t know how bad.”

Story continues below

Lockwood said he is going to be out a minimum of two weeks and will undergo an MRI in Dallas on Monday to learn the extent of his injury.

“I won’t be at St. Louis or Jacksonville,” he said. “Worst case scenario is 6-8 weeks, but it is looking more or less about 3-4 more than likely.”

Lockwood is second in the world standings and trails world leader Eduardo Aparecido by 337.5 points.

The 19-year-old attempted to compete with the injury to no avail Sunday afternoon.

Lester Gillis bucked off Lockwood in 1.76 seconds in the long round.

“It is torn, but $100,000 on two bulls for one day would make your groin feel better,” Lockwood said.

Lockwood believes he may have first partially injured his groin when he sustained a deep thigh bruise against 2015 World Champion SweetPro’s Long John.

“It is not torn completely,” Lockwood added. “I might have strained it or something last weekend when he stepped on me and it was just waiting for some pressure to get on it and pop it and tear.”

Lockwood has won two of the first seven BFTS events and is 11-for-21 (52.38 percent).

The Volborg, Montana, bull rider said seeing 2016 World Champion Cooper Davis take off time last season when he was hurt also helps him feel better about taking a break to get healthy rather than trying to ride through the injury next weekend at the Bass Pro Chute Out, presented by Cooper Tires.

“It is better to come back and be fully healed then to try and ride hurt all year long,” Lockwood said. “That will be good and a break will make me crave it a little more.”

PBR Director of Livestock Cody Lambert said every rider has to be aware of how much you can handle.

“You have to be honest with yourself,” Lambert said. “Anyone can get on. Getting on doesn’t make you a hero. You have to ride to win. You have to ride to get paid. Getting on is meaningless. If you don’t know you can do it then you should go let it heal and find out. He is going to get an MRI tomorrow and we will see.

“Today, I told him, it makes no sense to get on his first bull. It makes sense to get on two and go win $100,000.”

Lockwood said he is viewing his recently injury woes as another lesson in his young career.

“Heck, I like to think I have proven myself a little, but there is a long way to go for sure,” Lockwood concluded. “There are stepping stones. This is just one of them. Over coming this. It is as simple as rest.”