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Coa, Lopez Update - Feb. 20
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Jockey Eibar Coa remained in good spirits and showed slight improvement overnight after undergoing surgery Saturday on his C4 vertebrae, which was broken in a spill following the finish of Friday’s sixth race.
According to family spokesperson Tito Fuentes, Coa’s agent, the jockey came out of Saturday’s surgery well and has some movement in his arms and shoulders. Coa has feeling throughout his body but no movement in his legs.
“As of now, he can move his arms and he can feel everything,” said Fuentes Sunday morning. “He just can’t move everything, but that isn’t to say that won’t change.”
Fuentes said Coa is scheduled to undergo a second surgery Monday or Tuesday at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood.
“Eibar’s spirits are very good and he’s been getting a lot of visitors,” Fuentes said. “The fact he can move his arms and feel everything is a very good thing.”
Meanwhile, leading jockey Paco Lopez, who sustained a left elbow injury in Friday’s sixth race spill, visited Gulfstream Saturday and presented the trophy after the 21st-running of the Sabin (G3). Lopez, who had his left arm in a sling, said he was a “little sore” but feeling well.
Agent Cory Moran said Lopez suffered a “little chip” in his elbow. While doctors don’t believe Lopez will need surgery, Moran said the jockey will see a specialist Monday to evaluate the elbow and determine when Lopez can return to riding.