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Saddle bronc rider Isaac Diaz out with injury

by Tracy Renck | Jun 05, 2019

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Veteran saddle bronc rider Isaac Diaz’s journey to qualify for his seventh Wrangler National Finals Rodeo has hit a detour.

The Desdemona, Texas, cowboy had surgery for a sports hernia injury May 30 in Philadelphia performed by Dr. William Meyers. Diaz expects to be out of action at least eight weeks.

“My groin and lower abdomen both tore off my pelvis,” said Diaz, 32. “I irritated it back in Mercedes (Texas) in March, and it seemed like it was getting worse all spring and then it was getting better. It was back and forth, but I was riding (May 19) and I heard it pop like four times before I could get off the horse. The day I hurt it, I went straight to Dr. Tandy (Freeman’s office) (May 20). He told me I needed to fly up to Philadelphia to have them do the surgery.”

Diaz was 10th in the June 3 PRCA | RAM World Standings with $52,520. Diaz has qualified for the Wrangler NFR six times – 2007, 2009, 2012-13, 2015 and 2018. He finished a career-best sixth in the 2016 world standings. A year ago, Diaz placed eighth in the world standings.

“It just depends on how hard you work at it and how good you heal,” said Diaz when asked about his timetable for recovery. “The doctor told me professional athletes are typically back in six weeks to full competition, but he said we are not considered the same thing because roughstock athletes are using their groins a lot more than say a pro football player is, so he said it will be eight to 10 weeks to recover from the injury.”

Although Diaz is going to be sidelined, he’s highly optimistic the injury will not ruin his season plans.

“I don’t have any doubts whatsoever that I can make the NFR,” Diaz said. “I’m hooked up with physical therapist Brad Bettis and I told him I want to be back in eight weeks at the latest. He’s going to push me as hard as he can. I’m hoping to be back for Dodge City (Kan., July 31-Aug. 4).”

Diaz joined the PRCA in 2006, and this is his first significant injury.

“Last summer over the Fourth of July, I took a four-day doctor’s release and that was the first doctor’s release I have ever taken,” Diaz said. “I’ve had a very blessed career as far as injuries and everything goes so, I’m not going to sit here and complain about this one.”

The injury did have a silver lining as Diaz is able to spend more time with his daughter, Whitlee, who was born Dec. 27. It was he and his wife Britany’s first child.

“I’ve just been watching Whitlee and it is awesome to get to spend this much time with her,” Isaac said.

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