Richard Johnson: Jockey set for return 37 days after breaking right arm

Richard Johnson
Johnson had previously indicated he hoped to be back for Cheltenham Festival in March

Champion jump jockey Richard Johnson is set to return to action on Thursday - 37 days after breaking his right arm.

The 42-year-old's return keeps alive his slim hopes of retaining the title he has won for four consecutive years.

Johnson trailed rival Brian Hughes by three winners before his fall at Exeter on 21 January, and is now 19 behind with the season ending in late April.

"Realistically, I know I'm still going to be up against it. But there is that chance," said Johnson.

The English rider was runner-up in the championship 16 times as AP McCoy took the title 20 years running, but has been champion since McCoy's retirement in 2015.

It was initially feared his broken arm could end Johnson's hopes of lifting the title again in April and derail preparation for next month's Cheltenham Festival.

However, after a successful consultation with British Horseracing Authority doctor Jerry Hill on Monday, he hopes to return at either Musselburgh or Ludlow on Thursday

"Ten days or so before Cheltenham is a good time - if I'd only been able to come back the Friday before, it wouldn't have been long to get into the routine again," said Johnson.

The four-day Cheltenham Festival starts on 10 March.

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