Dutch sprinter Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) said he will undergo major facial reconstructive surgery next week at a hospital in the city of Nijmegen.
Jakobsen, 22, revealed the news on his Instagram page — it was his first update since early August. He gave details of the operation that will take place to rebuild his jaw and mouth.
“The surgery involves placing bone, taken from my pelvic crest, in my upper and lower jaw, because a lot of bone is missing there,” Jakobsen wrote. “The bone will have to heal for several months.”
Jakobsen said that he will then require another surgery to complete the reconstruction of his mouth.
“After that, another surgery will take place to put implants in my jaw so that I can get new teeth, as I lost them during the crash,” he wrote.
The surgeries result from the horror crash during stage 1 of the Tour of Poland that saw Jakobsen strike a series of metal barriers just meters before the finish line in Katowice. Jakobsen came into the high-speed finish traveling nearly 80 kilometers per hour, and just before the line, he was nudged into the barriers by compatriot Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma).
Groenewegen suffered a broken bone in the crash and was later suspended by his Jumbo-Visma team.
Jakobsen was rushed to a hospital and placed in an induced coma before recovering enough to fly home to The Netherlands. He suffered a brain injury, massive loss of blood, and numerous broken bones.
There is no timeline for Jakobsen’s return to pro cycling, and the serious nature of his injuries hint that it could be quite some time before he returns. Jakobsen is among the top up-and-coming sprinters in WorldTour cycling, and his list of victories includes the Dutch road race title, two stages of the Vuelta a España, and two editions of the Belgian semi-classic Scheldeprijs.
In his Instagram post, Jakobsen thanked his medical team, Dr. H. Locher and M. Hendriksma, for the care he has received since the crash.
“The past 2 months have been dominated by my recovery after my crash,” he wrote. “I had to recover from my brain contusion and other bruises/injuries for a long time. The wounds/scars on my face are healing as well.”
AFP contributed to this report.