MIA but Syahir's in no rush
Apprentice jockey still nursing back injury
If you have been wondering just what has happened to apprentice jockey Syahir Abdul, well, don't send out the search parties.
The guy's still around, but has put his budding riding career on hold due to a non-racing-related back issue which he is working on.
Not sighted in a race this season, the promising rider has been sidelined since the end of last season when he suddenly felt pain in his back.
Having not fallen on or hurt that area, be it in racing or otherwise, the 27-year-old Singaporean had it checked since it was not going away and was impeding his riding.
The MRI scans revealed his L4 and L5 were bulged up and doctors advised rest and physiotherapy.
Three months into therapy, Syahir, who still helps out at his master Tan Kah Soon's stables every day, said he was making some progress, but it may take a while longer before he can get back in the saddle.
"Doctors say it will take another three months before I can ride again," said Syahir.
"It's strange as I don't know how it may have happened. I had no old injury that could have come back again, but it is what it is, and I just have to be patient. It has been frustrating, of course. But my doctors told me not to rush it.
"I could have gone for injections, but I'd rather not do that and just let it heal naturally.
"My boss is understanding and is not rushing me either, and I thank him for that. I still go to the stables to do ground work and keep myself as fit as I can."
After getting his apprentice jockey's licence in 2015, Syahir's career has been one of ups and downs. Good and not so good.
He even had a stint in New Zealand and enjoyed his most successful season last year. Under Tan's tutelage, he rode 12 winners for a wide cross-section of trainers.
His last winner was Yulong Edition for Mark Walker. That was last September.