NICKY HENDERSON has confirmed star chaser Shishkin is suffering from a 'rare and very strange' bone problem.
Shishkin flopped completely in the Champion Chase at Cheltenham last month as arch rival Energumene went onto win.
Henderson was quick to blame the ground that day, with clerks watering it before a downpour.
But scans have since revealed the two-mile superstar is suffering from a bone problem.
Henderson says Shishkin's season is over but that he should be fit and firing for next year after his summer break.
The Seven Barrows supremo told Unibet: "The next day after Cheltenham he was perfectly all right and then he was lame for a couple of days, then he was sound.
"We weren't quite sure where he was and we put it down to the ground, but in our heart of hearts we knew that, while it was atrocious ground, that wasn't the whole thing – there was something else.
"We have dug and dug and dug until we could come up with something.
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"He was intermittently lame on different legs, which is rather strange.
"We did a bone scan on his whole body, which will normally show you one hotspot – it will tell you where the lameness is.
"On this, four hotspots came up in different places.
"He has what you'd call a pretty rare bone condition.
"The reason you get these hotspots is because he's laying down new bone.
"Why on earth he should suddenly do this on the day of the Champion Chase goodness only knows.
"It's the first day it affected him.
"It is a very strange problem and a rare one. I could show you the vet's report, but I don't think anyone apart from a vet would understand a word of it.
"It's something that is very mendable and he's going to do a month's box rest, then a month's walking and then we'll turn him out for his summer holiday.
"There is no reason he won't be ready for the beginning of next season. Once the bone has stopped the development in these four areas that will be the end of it.
"He's on no medication really, apart from some aspirin, and we've just got to let it settle down."
Shishkin, who saw off Tony Bloom's Energumene in a thriller at Ascot in January, was 5-6 fav for the Champion Chase but was pulled up after just eight fences.
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