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Tony Dobbin expects to be sidelined for another three months following an operation on his left shoulder at Carlisle`s Caldew Hospital last week.

Dobbin had made a great start to the campaign, riding 27 winners, before dislocating the shoulder at Market Rasen on July 22.

'The only good thing about it is that it is not a very busy time of the season,' he reasoned.

'Things do not really get going with the jumpers up in the north until November so that is when I want to be race riding again, though obviously I would want to be riding out for a while beforehand - I will just have to be patient.'

He went on: 'I did not have the surgery until last Thursday because the surgeon, Guy Broome, wanted to look at the records of the shoulder injuries I had had in the past.

'Back in 1993 or 1994 the shoulder sprang out of the back rather than the front and he wanted to makes sure that would not happen again _ I may have had to have another operation in two weeks` time if there was any doubt.'

Recalling the moment the injury occurred, he went on: 'The shoulder came out as I gave my horse a smack passing the stands, it was the third time in all it had happened so I have had to have something done.

'Ironically, I did not have any pain between the time it happened and the operation because they did such a good job at Market Rasen and at the hospital in Lincoln putting it back in.

'But it was painful for a couple of days after I was discharged on Friday, though when Brian Storey and Neale Doughty had the same job done a few years ago they said the pain was barbaric so at least it seems I haven`t suffered as badly.'