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Victor Espinoza aims for January comeback

Dubai World Cup

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - MARCH 26: Victor Espinoza celebrates after riding California Chrome to victory in the Dubai World Cup Sponsored By Emirates Airline as part of the Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse on March 26, 2016 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

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DEL MAR, Calif. -- Hall of Fame jockey Victor Espinoza is aiming to return to riding in January, six months after he was seriously injured in a training accident.

The 46-year-old rider says he had an MRI recently and “it came out perfect.” Espinoza says he doesn’t need surgery and his spinal cord has healed “perfectly,” which was his main concern.

He fractured a vertebra in his neck at Del Mar last July when the horse he was exercising fell.

Espinoza was back at Del Mar on Saturday for the first time since the accident. He presented the trophy to the winning connections in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby. He has been recuperating at his Del Mar home.

Espinoza says he hopes to return sometime in January at Santa Anita. The track opens its winter meet on Dec. 26.

He rode American Pharoah to a Triple Crown sweep in 2015.