Davy Russell hopes to have a better idea of when he can expect to return to action when he has further X-rays on his injuries later this month.

Russell has been on the sidelines since October when dislocating and fracturing vertebrae in a first-fence fall in the Munster National at Limerick aboard Doctor Duffy.

The three-times champion jockey damaged his C6 and C7 vertebrae and dislocated his T1 meaning he needed traction to get everything back into its rightful place.

Russell, who was on board for both of Tiger Roll's Grand National wins, is currently in a neck brace and returns to hospital on 17 December when he hopes to be given some positive news.

"I'm getting on fine, I'm in very little pain, I have good movement and I'm doing as much exercise as I'm allowed," said Russell, speaking at an event to promote the Leopardstown Christmas Festival.

"I'm heading back on 17 December to get more X-rays and to see how it's all going and to see what sort of date we are looking at.

"This will be a strange Christmas."

"It's all the hands of the doctors. They'll fill me in on how my progress is going, but it is all going according to plan, touch wood. The fusion of my vertebrae has worked well but I've no set date to work towards, I just get checked every couple of weeks to check everything is where it's supposed to be."

He added: "This will be a strange Christmas, it's the first one I won't be riding at in all the years I've been riding, I've never missed it yet. I'll be watching it on television so it will be very different."

Russell, who has missed the first two runs of Envoi Allen's chasing career, at least has the prospect of riding the budding superstar to look forward to on his return.

"I didn't feel a twinge of regret at not riding him, quite the opposite actually, he sent a shiver down my spine," said Russell.

"I got goosebumps watching him. He's something else. I'd have given anything to be on his back.

"If I'd been suspended or something my stomach would have been churning, but in our game injuries come. Fingers crossed I'll be back on him before too long.

"I'm a racing fan as much as anything and I really enjoyed watching him. He was breathtaking."