JOCKEY Danny Cook is fighting to save his eyesight after suffering horrific facial injuries when he was kicked by a horse.
The Jumps star needed 50 stitches to his face and suffered a broken nose and fractured eye socket following the terrifying incident last month.
Cook, 37, was rushed to hospital and treated for head wounds after being kicked at Market Rasen in October.
Incredibly, he made his racing comeback on November 21 but pulled out of last Sunday’s races at Carlisle after falling off Definitly Red at Newcastle on Saturday.
Cook said he chose not to ride because he cannot see properly in one eye – and could be forced to retire if it does not improve.
He told the Yorkshire Post: “I’m going to take time out to get myself sorted.
“If they operate, there’s an 80 per cent chance my sight will be even worse so I need to weigh up all the options.
“Hopefully I will know more in the next week. If it doesn’t get better I will not return.”
Cook – who has total career earnings on the track of just under £3m – is desperate to return to racing and had been looking forward to riding again over the busy Christmas schedule.
But that is now all on hold as he waits to find out if his vision will ever return to normal.
He told the Racing Post: “I’ve been having trouble with my eyesight since I’ve been back riding. I’m going to see the specialist and try to get something sorted.
“This is the time of year when you want to race as much as you can. All the good horses are out.
“It’s frustrating being off but it’s a necessity because I’m not able to ride to my full capacity with only one eye.”
He added: “Mentally I am good to go and I am confident and strong.
“But the vision is very much impaired when I go into a jump – it’s not helping.
“I have got to look after myself. If I can’t ride at my best, I must get myself sorted.
“Whatever happens I have had a good innings and hopefully it is not the end.”
Cook’s admission he may be forced to retire comes after fellow jockey Harry Cobden was lucky to avoid serious injury over the weekend.
He fell underneath charging horses at Newbury but was shown walking to the on-course ambulance.
And just last week Flat rider Eoin Walsh was rushed to hospital with a broken back following a fall at Chelmsford.
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