Scottish-born hoop Lee Newman’s return from serious injury moved a giant step closer and he remains confident of making a comeback in the next few weeks.

Newman, who underwent spinal fusion surgery after fracturing his neck and back in a fall at Pinjarra in January 2018, has been cleared by doctors to climb back in the saddle.

“The doctors gave me the good news this morning (Monday) and it’s a big relief,” Newman told the Races WA.

“They are happy with the fusion and how it has come along and say I am at no more risk than anyone.

“I will ride at trials on Monday and book rides after that, but want to keep it low key for the first couple of weeks.

“I just want to get back and reward the people who have supported me and helped me along while I have been away.”

Newman, Britain’s leading apprentice in 2000, will be hoping for a change of luck after being hit hard by injuries since setting up base in Perth.

In 2017 he was sidelined for five months after damaging his spleen and ribs in another bad fall at Ascot.

Although he always remained confident of returning to competitive riding after his latest setback, Newman admitted it could have ended his career.

“I’ve been injured a few times, so I’m pretty used to the setbacks,” Newman said.

“I was confident of getting back, but if I couldn’t I would have accepted that as well.

“I would have had no regrets.”

Julio Santarelli