Bad news for Red Raiders fans -- the inimitable Fearless Champion will likely not be running this season.

According to a press release from Texas Tech University on Thursday, the horse suffered a leg injury during an on-campus appearance and will not be making its usual game-day appearances this season. That includes pre-game entrance runs at Texas Tech's first two home games against Lamar and the University of Houston (respectively), the school says. The good news is that Fearless Champion is expected to make a full recovery.

The extent of Fearless Champion's absence from the school's usual activities is up in the air. Sam Jackson, a professor for the school's Department of Animal & Food Sciences in the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources, says that the beloved horse could be out 6-8 weeks as a result of the injury.

Right now, it's unknown if Fearless Champion will even be on the sidelines during the first few games. Doing so could negatively impact the horse's recovery.

Fearless Champion "will be evaluated in three weeks to determine the progress being made on recovery from the injury," the school said.

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Jackson is currently looking for a possible replacement horse to take Fearless Champion's place during the recovery period, but admits the chances are slim.

"If we can find the right horse, it could be ready to go for the Lamar game, but that would have to be a unique situation," he said. "It would have to be a lot like Fearless Champion was, where I felt comfortable with him going into a game 10 days from the time I saw him. If that horse is out there, we possibly could use one.”

The current Fearless Champion has served as Texas Tech mascot The Masked Rider's mount since December 28th, 2012.

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