LAS VEGAS - Less than a month ago Robson Palermo contemplated shutting it down for the season and undergoing surgery to repair the torn rotator cuff in his right free arm shoulder.
He decided to forego the procedure and finish out the 2012 season.
Saturday night, he became the only rider among the Top 35 to cover his first four bulls at the World Finals, and is now not only in a position to win the Finals average three times, but he's also vying to become the first man to do it in back-to-back seasons.
"I'm so proud of myself," said Palermo, who admitted he hasn't
gotten any sleep the past few nights.
Because he's had to make adjustments to his riding style - he can no longer throw his free arm and instead has to break over at the hips to counter the bull's moves - Palermo said he spends most nights here in Las Vegas visualizing the next round's bull.
Friday night he dislocated his left kneecap and eight days ago, while at the practice pen, he dislocated his left shoulder.
Palermo said because of the intense pain doctors had to put him out in order to reset his shoulder.
"I think about the way I need to put my body," Palermo said, "and where to put my rope, so I don't make a mistake when I come over here."
Palermo leads the rest of the draw with 352 points on four bulls.
Luke Snyder, Mike Lee, Renato Nunes, Edevaldo Ferriera and Silvano Alves follow Palermo in the event average, each having ridden three of four bulls with two rounds remaining.
"I want to ride my bulls and it's one bull at a time," said Robson Palermo.
When asked how he's able to do deal with the pain, Palermo said, "I don't know - it makes me strong.
"This arena has something that makes me pump up," Palermo said. "I'm ready for tomorrow."
He added, "I want to ride my bulls and it's one bull at a time."
While Palermo is trying to win the event in back-to-back seasons, Alves is trying to become the first back-to-back World Champion in PBR history.
Alves, who is sixth in the average, is positioned to win his second consecutive title on Sunday.
Follow Keith Ryan Cartwright on Twitter @PBR_KRC.
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