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Published: 14:50 | 17/3/17

Douvan set for autumn return after stress fracture

Douvan is set for an autumn return after a scan confirmed that the six-year-old suffered a hairline fracture of the pelvis during Wednesday's Queen Mother Champion Chase.

Douvan suffered a first defeat in 14 races when he limped home in seventh under Ruby Walsh, as Special Tiara secured victory for trainer Henry de Bromhead and jockey Noel Fehily.

"It is a hairline fracture of the left pelvis, and the recommendation is 12 weeks standing in a box," trainer Willie Mullins told ITV Racing.

"Those things heal perfectly, but it means he won't be back until next season, that's the only problem we have.

"I'd rather that than a ligament or a tendon, or God forbid, lying on the back of one these fences out there."

Veterinary expert Eva O'Donoghue expects Douvan, who was an odds-on favourite for Wednesday's Champion Chase, to be back by the autumn.

"It is good news as injuries go - a stress fracture is caused, as the name suggests, by repeated stress and fatigue on the bone," she told ITV Racing.

"It is a closed fracture, he should be exercising again in two months and will definitely be back by autumn campaign, I should think."

Photo Getty Images/Alan Crowhurst

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