Alessandro Ballan resting comfortably after surgeries to repair femur, remove spleen

Surgeons repaired the former world champion's broken femur and removed his spleen

BMC Racing’s Alessandro Ballan was resting comfortably Saturday after undergoing surgeries to remove his spleen and repair a double fracture of his left femur, according to his team doctors.

Ballan broke his left leg and a rib, punctured one lung and ruptured his spleen in a high-speed crash Thursday during a team training ride near Parcent, Spain.

Dr. Max Testa, chief medical officer for the BMC Racing Team, said the surgery to fix Ballan’s broken femur went very well.

“When the doctors realized he would have to stay in the hospital longer because of his abdominal injuries, they decided to take care of his femur at the same time since he was already sedated,” Testa said.

“The orthopedic surgeon said he was very pleased with how the bones lined up and the doctors are cautiously optimistic that he will make a full recovery with no complications.”

The 2008 world road champion was expected to remain for at least a few more days at Hospital Dénia Marina Salud, Testa said.

“They have been doing a great job of monitoring him closely and going to great lengths to make sure he is receiving good care,” he said. Team doctor Dario Spinelli also has been attending Ballan, as has his wife, Daniela.

Ballan said he appreciated the supportive emails, Tweets and posts to the BMC Racing Team Facebook page.

“I have been moved by all the messages of support I have received,” he said. “It lifts my spirits to know there are so many people all over the world who are wishing me well for a fast recovery. Thank you to everyone.”

Jim Ochowicz, team president and general manager, said it was uncertain when Ballan might return to competition. He had been scheduled to begin his season at the Santos Tour Down Under in Australia.

“We don’t know how long Alessandro will be out of competition, but I’m confident our other riders will dig a little deeper to make up for his absence,” Ochowicz said. “What’s been nice to see is how everyone has stepped up from the moment this happened, especially Dr. Spinelli, who is giving up his holidays.”