John Kissick has taken a massive step towards getting back to racing after being officially cleared for track work.
Kissick, a three-time winner of the Southern District jockey’s premiership, hasn't raced since breaking his break in a steer riding accident in November 2016.
Kissick underwent surgery to repair the damage to his T12 vertebrae, but has struggled to manage pain following the accident.
Doctors had initially cleared his track work return but Racing NSW wanted another opinion.
Now a specialist has given him hope of coming back after getting the clearance last week.
"I went to see a specialist and she showed by why I've got pain there and how to fix it," Kissick said.
"I've been doing that and it's actually come good."
It's something the 27-year-old didn't think would happen at the start of the year.
"Even up until three months I thought I definitely wouldn't get to this point," Kissick said.
"There are still no guarantees yet.
"I have to take it day by day as I have quite a degree of kyphosis because of the injury and that's why I've had such a big issue for so long."
As the vertebrae was broken at the front the healing process has made Kissick much more hunched over.
He's about 25 per cent shorter due to the curvature of the spine since the accident.
While returning to the track has always been his goal, it's now looking much more realistic.
Kissick is looking to take things slow.
"I'm just going to ride one or two during the week and see how it goes," he said.
"She said to see how it goes as it's a bit of trial and error but it can't be much better than this."