Veteran jockey Steven King is nearing a return to race riding after the longest injury-enforced break of his career.
King broke four metatarsal bones in his foot in April when Oltre Finito, who he just had steered to victory in a maiden at Ballarat, veered into the running rail and dumped the jockey who landed awkwardly.
Although he was originally told he could be off for 12 to 18 months, King is planning to make his race comeback within the next couple of weeks after getting his eye in at trackwork.
"I get a medical done this Wednesday and then I'll be looking to bounce the ball some time in the next week or two," King said.
King said it felt good to be back riding trackwork but the biggest issue now was getting his weight down.
"It's like riding a bike," he said.
"Once you've ridden one, you always know how to ride them.
"It's just the weight. I've got to get my weight down a bit, but I'll get back to race riding and slowly pull it down."
King needs only a Golden Slipper victory to join an elite group of jockeys to have won all four majors in Australian racing.
He won the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups in 1991 on Let's Elope and claimed the 2003 Cox Plate on Fields Of Omagh.
A Melbourne premiership winner in 1996-97 and Scobie Breasley medallist in 1997, 44-year-old King has won more than 50 Group Ones during his career in Australia and Asia.
He was sidelined for five months after breaking his leg in August 2007 and said missing the spring carnival, like he did again last year, was "never easy".
"It's been the longest break I've had in my career, eight months," he said.
"Missing the whole spring, obviously no-one wants to miss a carnival but I just had to accept it.
"I knew I was going to be out for a long time. I was told initially it was going to be 12 months so I just had to move on."
King said he rode in half a dozen jump-outs last Friday and plans to do the same this week as he continues to build up to a race return.