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Ron Pierce Retiring From Driving?

Published: November 5, 2015 10:45 am ET

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In a recent conversation with Trot Insider, Hall of Famer Ron Pierce discussed the status of his back and neck, and shed light on the possibility of his return (or not) to the racebike.

After being sidelined for most of 2015 with surgeries on his back and neck, the good news for Pierce is that he's improving. For the last month he's felt better every day.

"Physically I'm doing much more than I was able to do for the first few months...I can get up and move around no problem now," Pierce told Trot Insider. "I'm not in any pain except for my lower back. I'm actually having fun now, being able to do things I like to do. But before, in the first few months I couldn't do anything. It was a major effort to get off the couch and walk into the kitchen."

That said, the 59-year-old is still not close to 100 per cent. If he moves around too much, his lower back "ties up" on him and tightens.

"I have to be real careful with how I move and what I lift," stated Pierce. "They might have to do one more procedure on me and then I'll be good."

When Trot Radio's Norm Borg spoke to Pierce in late June, the Hall of Famer reported that his neck felt "phenomenal" and that's still the case. The back is the area that's keeping him sidelined. With his last back operation completed in early September and his next appointment set for mid-December, the next month will be full of rest and recuperation with some physiotherapy sprinkled in.

"I don't know, it's still up in the air whether I'm going to come back driving or not," confessed Pierce. "I've been racing horses for 39 years and all good things must come to an end. It was good to me; I accomplished a lot more than I thought I was going to accomplish as a driver."

His racebike resume is nearly without equal. Pierce has won nearly everything there is in harness racing, and on more than one occasion. His US$215 million in purses is the best for an American-born driver in the history of the sport. But a comeback would require his body to cooperate with his mind, his drive and dedication.

"If I went back driving, that's the problem I'd have...I wouldn't be able to keep a lid on it. Because once I start working, I just want to go, go, go, go, go," admitted the New Jersey resident. "I know the motivation and drive will come back, and the desire to win races and make money will come back. So I'd really have to keep a lid on it and I don't know if I'd be able to.

"If there was a comeback, it wouldn't be until Spring [2016]. I told myself I'd make up my mind middle of December or early January whether or not I was going to come back or not."

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