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Egan Bernal underwent surgery on his right knee last week in Colombia, an intervention that was already planned after the Ineos Grenadiers returned home following a high-profile return to competition in Europe.
Doctors said several pins and a screw were removed from a fracture in his kneecap dating back to his dramatic impact with a bus during a training ride in January.
Carlos Gutiérrez, the doctor who directed the operation at the Clínica de la Universidad de La Sabana, told the Spanish wire service EFE that the intervention went as expected.
“I confirmed that his meniscus and his ligaments are perfectly healthy,” he told EFE. “We performed arthroscopic surgery on the knee, and confirmed that the fracture was completely consolidated.”
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The operation Thursday is part of Bernal’s ongoing recovery from his traumatic impact in January with a parked bus that put the 2019 Tour de France winner’s life and career in danger.
Bernal broke several bones from the high-speed impact, but doctors were particularly worried about his kneecap and rotation in his right leg.
“There wasn’t any sort of complications during the invention,” the doctor said. “It was short and it turned out well. He’s going to feel better without this material that sometimes caused discomfort and pain in the knee.”
Bernal continues a remarkable recovery
Bernal is recovering faster and better than many expected, and he returned to Europe this summer to resume training at a high level with teammates in Andorra that raised speculation that he might race the Vuelta a España.
Bernal raced 12 days, from the Tour of Denmark and the Deutschland Tour in August, as well as two one-day races in Italy. He finished 28th at the Coppa Sabatini on September 15, and returned to Colombia.
There was no official word from Ineos Grenadiers on Bernal’s condition.
Doctors said he will have a few more days of recovery and continue to work on strengthening and conditioning ahead of the 2023 racing season.