Keating starts rehabilitation

INJURED Bendigo jockey John Keating has started rehabilitation at the Epworth Hospital in Richmond.

Keating, 42, spent more than a week in the intensive care unit at The Alfred hospital after he suffered head injuries in a race fall at Kyneton on February 1.

He was transferred to the Epworth Hospital on the weekend.

"John is in the rehabilitation ward and he's made really solid improvement in the past five days,'' Victorian Jockeys Association chief executive Des O'Keefe said on Tuesday.

"He's walking well and speaking great, but he still needs intensive rehab over a period of time to make sure he gets right on top of things.

"Overall, it's a really positive report."

O'Keefe said there was no immediate plans for Keating to return to Bendigo.

"It's just a play it by ear scenario as to how long John will be in Melbourne,'' O'Keefe said.

"It will be wait and see as to when the doctors will allow John to continue his rehab from home in Bendigo."

O'Keefe said the support for Keating, from people inside and outside of the racing industry, had been overwhelming.

"Doctors don't want him to over stimulate his brain, so they keep things very quiet and peaceful for him,'' O'Keefe said.

"There's been tremendous support for John which has been passed on to John and he's very pleased to hear it.

"The most pleasing thing for John and his family is that he's on the road to recovery."

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