Barbaro is still making progress

SPORTS DIGEST

September 27, 2006|By SANDRA MCKEE

Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro's left hind foot continues to make steady progress, but he still has a long way to go, according to his surgeon, Dr. Dean Richardson at the University of Pennsylvania's George D. Widener Hospital, where Barbaro remains in stable condition.

"The left hind hoof on Barbaro has grown about 18 millimeters in the heel area," said Richardson, describing the progress being made in the foot that lost 100 percent of its hoof wall when laminitis, a severe inflammation, developed from overuse six weeks after the Derby champion broke his leg in the May 20th Preakness.

"It has to grow at least three times that, which could take more than six months," Richardson said. "It's a very gradual process; the bottom of his foot has to completely heal as well."

Richardson also said that Barbaro continues to be comfortable in his right hind leg cast in the intensive care unit at New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pa., and that there are no pressing plans to replace it.

"As always, we monitor his comfort very closely, and we will likely change the cast within the next two weeks," Richardson said. "Barbaro's vital signs continue to be excellent, as is his appetite."

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