Offaly jockey Pat Smullen diagnosed with tumour
Offaly man and nine-time Irish champion jockey Pat Smullen has been diagnosed witha tumour and is currently receiving medical treatment in hospital.
He revealed in a statement to the media that he would not be riding "for the foreseeable future" following the diagnosis.
The Rhode man also said he is "fully focused" on making a full recovery after undergoing tests in recent days. The 40-year-old was a notable absentee from the first day of the flat season at Naas last weekend.
The 40-year-old wrote: "Most people will have been aware that I have been in hospital in recent days undergoing tests."
"I was showing some of the symptoms associated with a gallstone problem but it was discovered that the problem was more serious," he revealed.
He went on to say that, "a tumour was discovered and consequently I won't be riding for the foreseeable future. It's a new challenge for me and it's one I am fully focused on overcoming."
The Offaly man is known for his strong will and resolve both on and off the course, and he insisted, "I've got tremendous support from family and friends, both within racing and outside of racing, and I'm very positive about making a full recovery."
Pat Smullen is the stable jockey at Dermot Weld's yard, a combination that have seen huge success, including recently in 2016 when they won both the Epsom and Irish Derby with Harzand.
Smullen is now set to undergo further tests but expects to be at home in Ballybrittain in the next week.
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