Top trainer to undergo brain surgery
MELBOURNE trainer Robbie Griffiths will have brain surgery on Saturday and be sidelined from racing for six weeks.
Griffiths, president of the Australian Trainers' Association, has revealed that doctors have discovered an aneurysm in his brain - a bulging blood vessel that can be treated with surgery.
In a video to owners, he said he was confident that his team would cover his absence, joking the crew from Cranbourne maybe even outdo his own training record.
"You won't see me at the races in the next six weeks," he said.
"Unfortunately I've had a few health issues which I've attended to and they've discovered a brain aneurysm which they're going to do surgery on. I go into hospital (on Friday) and then they do the surgery on Saturday morning and I'll have six weeks away from the stable recuperating.
"I've got great staff around me and a great team around me - they're fantastic. They've been in this situation before, back in 2012, when I had an infection and was laid up in (hospital). During that time, we had a truckload of winners - they probably had more winners without me. They're probably right there. They've been there and done that before.
"Thanks for your support and happy racing. Best of luck to everyone and may we get as many winners as we can in the next six weeks."
Chief executive of the ATA Andrew Nicholl said while it was "significant surgery", Griffiths was "in very good hands".
"It's a daunting period for (Robbie and his family) but the real positive part of this is that Robbie is always an up guy," Nicholl said on RSN.
"He knows he's in very good hands.
"They've caught the matter early.
"It is significant surgery that he's facing but the beauty of this is he's in the hands of the experts."
Nicholl said Griffiths had kept the issue "very close to his chest" after being alerted something was amiss with a range of symptoms.
"It's been minor things, headaches, constant headaches, which really alerted him that there were some issues there," he said.
"Tiredness … irritability. It was an opportunity for Robbie to get a full health check."
He said the prognosis was definitely a positive one and that the six-week time frame for Griffiths' return to training - which will include not being able to drive a car - was precautionary to ensure a full recovery.
"He's got to take care of himself," he said.
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