PUEBLO, Colo. – Reigning World Champion Kaique Pacheco will not need to undergo offseason knee surgery after tearing his left MCL and PCL during the 2018 Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour Finals attempting to ride Fly Over (7.9 seconds).
“I visited with (Dr.) Tandy (Freeman), and did another MRI to see if anything changed,” Pacheco said through his agent Chris Dashney.
There was originally fear that Pacheco may need surgery after he went 2-for-5 at the PBR World Finals to hold off Jose Vitor Leme for the 2018 PBR World Championship.
Instead, Pacheco will now rehab for the next 12 weeks.
“This is very good because if I had to have surgery, I would have had to take six months to recover,” Pacheco said. “Dr. Tandy said that I do not have to do the surgery. I will do 12 weeks of physiotherapy to recover.”
Pacheco is hopeful to return to competition in February. If so, he still may be able to compete for Team Brazil at the 2019 Winstar World Casino & Resort Global Cup USA on Feb. 9-10 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
The 24-year-old was a perfect 4-for-4 in Sydney this past summer to lead Team Brazil to a Global Cup victory.
Pacheco will be doing his physical therapy back home in Brazil.
“I'm going to do the physiotherapy there in Brazil so that I can be prepared to come back next year, and be able to spend some time with my family and my girlfriend,” Pacheco said.
Pacheco was able to overcome a horrid start to the 2018 season – 7-for-27 – to win the 2018 world title.
The fourth-year pro concluded 2018 422.5 points ahead of Leme in the final world standings. Pacheco led the PBR with five event wins and three 15/15 Bucking Battle victories. He was 42-for-84 (50 percent) in 27 premier series events.
Pacheco also has the most qualified rides (171) in the PBR since turning pro in 2015.
Therefore, missing the first month of the season does not mean becoming the second bull rider in PBR history to win back-to-back championships is out of the question.
“I want to be fully recovered to come back next year, and to be able to ride well and my bulls, and do a good job,” Pacheco said.
Pacheco will have eight guaranteed events before being subject to the Unleash The Beast cutline. He then would also have an additional 10 World Champion exemptions if necessary.
Are there any big plans to celebrate his championship back home in Brazil?
“I just want to stay with my family, my girlfriend, and friends, and especially have a good recovery to be prepared for next year,” Pacheco concluded.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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