The Spanish matador Juan José Padilla, who forms so many chapters of my book Into The Arena, and whose horrific goring was flashed around the world in terrifying images (which I reported on here), returned to the ring with only one eye – and thus no depth perception – with the cattle of Fuente Ymbro*. He is now flying from Jerez to Madrid to meet our mutual friend and fellow torero Adolfo Suárez Illana before going onto Oviedo to see his eye specialist, Dr Fernandez de la Vega, to see how his recuperation has progressed in the hopes that further surgical intervention may restore some vision to the damaged organ. Then he will plan his return to the ring this year, contracts already having been offered for the Feria of Olivenza in the first week in March.
As Adolfo said to me today of the force of nature also known as the Cyclone of Jerez: “The cyclone returns to blow once more… Happy New Year!”
* I have fond memories of Fuente Ymbro, where I first enterred the ring to face a vaquilla myself in 2010 as recounted in the book, with Juan on one side of me and Adolfo on the other.