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Gregory is anxious for return to the sulky
Wednesday, December 04, 2013 - by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications

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Ken Weingartner
Freehold, NJ --- Harness racing driver Jeff Gregory is getting nearer to racing, but still has a lot of work to do before getting to hear “go” from the starter, or his doctors.

Gregory, 47, suffered a broken left elbow in a racing accident on Sept. 6 at Freehold Raceway. The elbow shattered, requiring it to be wired together by two doctors during a lengthy surgery.

He began his rehabilitation two weeks after the procedure.

 
USTA photo
Jeff Gregory suffered a broken left elbow in a racing accident on Sept. 6 at Freehold.

“It’s the toughest injury I’ve ever had,” Gregory said. “I’ve had a lot of broken bones, but the elbow joint has been the toughest one to rehabilitate. It’s been a lot of work and a very slow process, but it’s coming along very good.

“I’m probably going to be another month or so before they clear me to drive. At this point, the bone has healed and they’re working on my strength and range of motion.”

Gregory goes to physical therapy three days a week, but works at rehabilitating the elbow daily.

“It’s been a ton of therapy,” he said. “I’m usually there close to two hours. I do the exercise there and then once more at home. If it’s a day that I don’t have therapy, I do them twice a day at home. So I’m doing the exercises twice a day whether I’m going to therapy or not.”

Once the elbow is healed completely, Gregory will likely need surgery to remove the wires.

“I’m not sure if that’s going to be a month down the road, or a year down the road,” Gregory said. “The bone was shattered. They were going to originally put a plate on there but there was nothing to screw it to. So they wired the whole thing together. It’s five or six wires holding the bone together. They’re probably going to bother me.”

A native of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., who now lives in central New Jersey, Gregory has won 6,635 races and $66 million in purses during his career. He won a career-best 581 races in 2004 and set his career high for earnings with $5.73 million in 2010.

He drove Chapter Seven to victory in the 2011 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male trotters and captured the 2005 Hambletonian Oaks with Jalopy.

“It’s been a long road, but it’s part of the job and we’ll get through it,” Gregory said. “In the beginning when I was hurting, I didn’t mind not working. Now that I’m getting a little bit better, it’s getting boring.

“The doctor is real happy with how the bone looks. He’s letting me jog some horses now, some easy horses, older horses, that don’t pull. I’m anxious to get back.”

Cat Manzi, who suffered multiple pelvic fractures in the accident, returned to action Nov. 29 at Freehold.


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