Kris Boeckmans, 28, is in his second season riding...

Kris Boeckmans out of medically induced coma

After suffering a horrible crash in the Vuelta, Boeckmans is finally conscious and expected to return to Belgium soon.

Kris Boeckmans (Lotto-Soudal) spoke with his family and doctors on Thursday for the first time since he was put into a medically induced coma following a harrowing crash in stage 8 of the Vuelta a España.

“Lotto Soudal is very happy to announce that Kris Boeckmans is no longer kept in an induced coma, and that the recovery is evolving positively,” a team statement said.

The 28-year-old Belgian suffered severe facial trauma, including several fractures, as well as three broken ribs, bleeding in his lungs, and a concussion in the crash, which occurred when he hit a hole in the road while he was drinking, according to teammate Tosh Van der Sande.

CT scans following the incident showed no signs of brain injuries other than a severe concussion, according to team doctor Servaas Bingé.

Boeckmans was placed in a medically induced coma in a hospital in Murcia, Spain, with an external oxygen supply and anesthesia. These measures were removed without incident this week, according to a team statement, and he was put through further scans to assure no injuries had been missed.

He remains in Murcia, in an intensive care unit, but will be flown back to a Belgian hospital as soon as his health allows. Facial surgery is likely required, due to the extent of his injuries.