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Melancon back in action after surgery

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – After enduring eight months of pain in his back and leg, bull rider Cole Melancon had enough.

Melancon, who made his Wrangler National Finals Rodeo debut in 2017 to finish sixth in the PRCA World Standings, had surgery on a herniated disc in his lower back Jan. 10 in Austin, Texas.

“I started noticing the injury last April, and it’s something I dealt with all summer long,” said Melancon, 23. “Then, after the Finals (Dec. 16), I just decided I was going to have some time off and I wanted to get it fixed. I tried everything else to get it fixed before surgery with rehab and everything, and it wasn’t getting better. It was something I didn’t want to deal with anymore.”

During Melancon’s one-month checkup everything was good, and he returned to competition Feb. 21-22 at the San Antonio (Texas) Stock Show & Rodeo. He rode one of his three bulls over those two days but didn’t advance to the semifinals.

“Everything felt great, I was just pretty sore because I had not ridden in two months,” Melancon said. “Since the surgery, my back feels a lot better and the problem really wasn’t my back. The disc was in my lower back and it was pinching my sciatic nerve and it was going down my leg and that’s where the pain was. I’m glad I had the surgery because the pain is finally gone.”

Melancon will return to action Feb. 24 for the Division 1 Xtreme Bulls event in San Antonio.

“I feel a lot better heading into the Xtreme Bulls in San Antonio, now that I had a few days off, I’m ready,” Melancon said. “I’m going back at it like I was before the surgery and my goal is to get back to the NFR.”

A year ago, Melancon earned $200,350, including $92,288 at the WNFR in Las Vegas. He placed in four rounds, highlighted by splitting the Round 3 win with Sage Kimzey. Melancon had a 91.5-point ride on Smith, Harper & Morgan’s Hot and Ready.

Just before having back surgery, Melancon and his girlfriend, Raelee Self, welcomed a daughter, Lariat Lace, into the world.

“It was good to be home for around two months to be with my daughter,” Melancon said.



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