5 Dec, 2011 @ 09:30
1 min read

Spanish bullfighter down, but not out

HE was left for dead after being severely gored in a bullfight.

But just six days after undergoing surgery to repair his paralysed face, matador Juan Jose Padilla has vowed to return to the ring.

The 38-year-old was left blinded in one eye after the bull’s horn pierced his jaw and emerged through his eye-socket.

But despite his ordeal, the Jerez torero insists he does not want pity from fans.

“I do not want the fans to feel sorry for me,” Padilla told a news conference in Sevilla.

“I will fight again dressed as a bullfighter because this is my dream to meet the fans.

“I want to thank the Hospital Virgen del Rocio for giving me the opportunity to return to normal life and giving me the hope of returning to the arena.”

Padilla, one of Spain’s most popular matadors, slipped after placing the ‘banderillas’ in the bull.

The 500-kilo animal, from the Ana Romero ranch in Cadiz, left Padilla in a critical condition with blood gushing from his head in Zaragoza’s Fiesta Del Pilar.

The matador was helped out of the ring screaming ‘I can’t see, I can’t see.’

The Spaniard initially underwent a life-saving five-hour operation to repair damage to his eye, bone, muscle and skin.

The latest operation, carried out last week, will help rebuild facial nerves to recover around 80 per cent mobility in his face following a prolonged rehabilitation process.

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