Friday, April 18, 2014

Andy Miller Likely Will Be Out for SIx Months

Injured in a spill Tuesday night at Yonkers driver Andy Miller underwent successful surgery Wednesday at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital to repair broken vertebrae in his back. He continues to have feeling in all his extremities, but Miller still faces a long recovery.

Speaking yesterday to Harness Racing Update, Miller's wife, Julie, said the estimate is that her husband will be out of action for about six months.

"How long will he be out? That's the $1 million question," Julie Miller said. "The doctors are hesitant to say, but they did say that it usually takes a good three months for the bones to heal and another three months for the ligaments to heal. So we're looking at six months, but time will tell.

"The doctors are really optimistic. They said it really helps that he was healthy and fit before he came in here. He is a good candidate for a full recovery. It's just going to take time."

Miller was driving a horse named Marmara Denizi for his brother, trainer Erv Miller. The spill began when In The Clear, driven by George Brennan appeared to step on the wheel of another horse and fell.

Racing near the back of the pack, Miller fell as part of a chain reaction. Brennan was not hurt.

Miller was originally taken to Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville, New York before being transferred to Columbia Presbyterian in Manhattan. The surgery involved placing rods and screws in his back to stabilize the injured area.

"They expect he'll be walking around by (Friday) and if things continue to go well he should be out of the hospital on Monday or Tuesday," Julie Miller said.

The accident came at a particularly inopportune time for Miller as stakes season is right around the corner and it appears he's going to miss virtually all of the big money races.

"He's disappointed, especially with the 2-year-old races coming up," Miller said. "But we could be talking about something far worse. He could have been paralyzed. He's got mobility and he's strong and, in my opinion, he's a pretty tough guy. So he's going to come out of this OK.

It could have been a lot worse. I've got to thank Mr. (Jeff) Gural and Jason Settlemoir who were very helpful. They referred us to the very best doctors and made sure we got to see them.

Andy has also been really happy with the outpouring of thoughts and prayers we've received from people in the horse racing community and is very appreciative of that."

Written by Bill Finley of Harness Racing Update

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