KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Two-time World Champion Jess Lockwood had his left hamstring wrapped late Sunday afternoon in the PBR sports medicine room before he began to gather his belongings and hobble his way out of the Sprint Center.
Lockwood was in a good amount of pain following the Caterpillar Classic, and he leaves Kansas City with significant injury concerns following his 91.5-point ride on I’m Legit Too in the championship round. The 22-year-old caught his right spur in his bull rope during his dismount as the bovine athlete then yanked Lockwood into a split.
Immediately, Lockwood summoned for the PBR sports medicine staff, and they had to carry him off the dirt as he grabbed at his left hamstring.
Dr. Tandy Freeman diagnosed Lockwood with a strained left medial hamstring, and said the Volborg, Montana, bull rider will need to undergo an MRI on Monday in Dallas to determine the full extent of the injury.
Lockwood politely turned down an interview request following the event and wanted to wait for the MRI before commenting.
Freeman has listed Lockwood as questionable for next weekend’s Unleash The Beast Bad Boy Mowdown in Little Rock Arkansas, but said he will need to see an MRI to determine if Lockwood tore the hamstring. If the hamstring is severely torn, then surgery would be a possibility. If that were the case, Lockwood could be out for months. However, if the hamstring is not severely torn, then it could be only a matter of weeks for the defending World Champion.
Lockwood (2-for-3) finished third overall in Kansas City for 61 world points. The fifth-year pro had won Round 1 Saturday night with 90.5 points on Suns Up.
Lockwood, who was already dealing with a right knee injury, is trying to become only the second rider in PBR history to ever win back-to-back world titles, and he is currently the No. 2-ranked bull rider in the world.
The No. 1-ranked bull rider in the world – Jose Vitor Leme – is also dealing with injury concerns, but to a lesser extent.
Leme did not compete on Championship Sunday because of one or two potentially fractured ribs he sustained in Saturday night’s 15/15 Bucking Battle when The Right Stuff tossed him into a steel post on the back of the bucking chutes.
The 23-year-old was scheduled to get X-rays Monday in Dallas to determine the extent of his injuries, but Freeman said Leme is likely week-to-week.
“It’s up to him when he goes back, probably,” Freeman said. “It’s one of those deals. If he’s got a non-displaced rib fracture, it’s whenever he doesn’t hurt so bad that he can ride. He has to decide when he’s ready. Usually with those, you’re looking at at least 3-4 weeks.”
Leme said before the event Sunday he would hopefully be ready to go for Little Rock, but that he would ultimately follow the guidance of Freeman.
“It just depends what’s going to happen tomorrow,” Leme said with the help of Paulo Crimber translating. “If the event was tomorrow, I’d probably just turn out. Whatever Tandy says, whatever comes up on X-rays and everything, I’m going to make my decision to go. I don’t want to lose anything.
“I’d rather go because I don’t want to lose any events to make points because I already am missing this one. This one is zero points.”
Leme leads Lockwood by 72.5 points in the world standings. He holds a 149.75-point lead on No. 3 Joao Ricardo Vieira.
Leme said that, once he learns the extent of his rib injuries, he may then test things out on a practice bull at home in Decatur, Texas, later this week to see if he feels good enough to ride in Arkansas.
“I will probably get on a bull at my house, see how it feels, and if it feels good, I’ll go,” Leme said. “Because if it doesn’t, it don’t make no sense going.”
ADDITIONAL INJURY UPDATES
U.S. Border Patrol bullfighter Jesse Byrne said he was OK after getting his head shoved against the bucking chutes by Struttin Stuff in the championship round when he stepped in to protect Cole Melancon. Byrne had a series of cuts and bruises on his swollen face after the event, but he was happy to be walking out of the arena OK.
Meanwhile, four riders did not compete on Championship Sunday because of injuries sustained on Saturday night in Kansas City – Rubens Barbosa (concussion/potential broken jaw), Matt Triplett (concussion), Mason Taylor (riding wrist) and Alisson de Souza (right shoulder).