FORT WORTH, Texas – 2018 World Champion Kaique Pacheco leaned his head against the wall of the PBR Sports Medicine Room as the Game Ready Ice Compression machine pulsated on his right foot.
Pacheco’s blue riding helmet, bull rope, riding vest and chaps were in a heap in the corner of the room.
The 27-year-old had not even gone back to the locker room yet after riding Happy Camper for 89 points during Round 3 of the PBR World Finals Sunday at Dickies Arena.
Pacheco, who is 2-for-3 and in seventh place in the World Finals event average, immediately went to the sports medicine room to receive treatment on his potentially broken right foot that he refuses to let get in the way of his 2022 World Championship aspirations.
“Yeah, it burns a lot,” Pacheco admitted while pointing at his foot. “I tried to not think about it in my mind and focus on my bull. No big deal. It happens. Part of the game.”
Happy Camper did not make things easy for Pacheco pre-ride on Sunday afternoon. He rocked the world title contender forward a few times, similar to how Pacheco injured his foot Saturday night in the chutes with Bread Basket.
To make things easier, the PBR Sports Medicine Team inserted a metal plate into Pacheco’s riding boot to help alleviate some of the pressure on his foot.
Pacheco also went through a series of ice sessions before riding on Sunday afternoon.
“I get the plate from Marco (Eguchi),” Pacheco said. “He broke his foot a few times. He had one in his gear bag that he give me to wear right now. It doesn’t feel better right now, but it worked. This happened in the chute (Saturday) when he bucked me the first time. I smashed my foot. It’s bruised today, on the bottom and on the top.”
Pacheco finished Round 3 tied for fourth place, picking up 38 world points to try and keep pace with world No. 1 Daylon Swearingen.
Swearingen (2-for-3) leads Pacheco by 107.49 points in the world standings, but he is only 1.75 points ahead of him in the event average.
The good news for Pacheco is that he now gets three days off before the World Finals resumes with Round 4 on Thursday night in Fort Worth (10 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network).
This week will not be the first time Pacheco has faced injury concerns at the World Finals with a gold buckle on the line. In 2018, he tore ligaments (PCL/MCL) in his left knee at the Velocity Tour Finals just days before the World Finals. He did not let the injury hold him back as he rode his first two bulls at the Finals and eventually went on to claim the World Championship.
Pacheco will get X-rays on Monday and send them to Dr. Tandy Freeman to be evaluated to determine the severity of his injuries, but he is not concerned.
He knows his foot will be radiating in pain, but the adrenaline rush of becoming the eighth rider in PBR history will be the only fire he needs.
“I’ll be really good,” Pacheco concluded. “After I’m riding, I can’t step on it too much. I make a lot of ice yesterday, and this morning, too, to be ready. I’m going to take the X-ray, but Dr. Tandy says he thinks it’s broke. I feel a lot better today. I can get on better.”
Article Courtesy of the PBR
Photo By Andy Watson/Bull Stock Media