Jockey Ruby Walsh has been sidelined after having his spleen removed following a fall at Cheltenham last weekend.

Ruby sustained the injury after coming off from Pride Of Dulcote in a handicap hurdle at The Open, at Cheltenham, on Saturday, 15 November.

He was kicked in the stomach, rupturing his spleen and taken to Cheltenham General Hospital for surgery.

But Ruby is hoping to be back in the saddle within 3 weeks to ride the Paul Nicholls-trained Master Minded, owned by Clive Smith, in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown on Saturday 6 December.

While he is recovering, Gold Cup-winning jockey Sam Thomas will take over his rides — including aboard Kauto Star in next weekend’s Betfair Chase at Haydock, which the pair won last year.

At the same meeting last year Ruby dislocated his shoulder during a fall from Willyandwoody and was out until Christmas.