Recovering from injuries and surgeries is hard on every athlete, but when your sport involves climbing onto an angry bull and trying to hang on as it attempts to hurl you off, the comeback becomes even tougher. Just ask Longmont’s Kody Lostroh, whose riding mishaps have required two surgeries on his elbow and one on his shoulder, causing him to miss seven months of events and training. But now, he tells the Times-Call, he’s ready to defend his 2009 Professional Bull Riders World Finals championship, which is what he’s doing currently at the PBR World Finals in Las Vegas.

The five-day event runs through Sunday, and despite the fact that he made the most money of all professional bull riders in 2009, writes The Wall Street Journal, Lostroh knows he’s facing a serious challenge. “Any one of these guys is fully capable of having a great week and winning this event,” he tells the Times-Call.

So far, Lostroh’s comeback isn’t off to a great start, notes The Pueblo Chieftan. He thought he finished an eight-second ride, the standard in pro bull riding, on a bull named Mad Max yesterday, but it turned out he lasted just 7.91 seconds, so his score didn’t count.