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Injuries may keep Petacchi from Games

Top Italian sprinter Alessandro Petacchi has a cracked rib and is still suffering from a badly bruised shoulder, according to his Fassa Bortolo team doctor, and may miss out on next month's Olympics. Petacchi sustained the injuries when he crashed in last Thursday's fifth stage of the Tour de France. He and fellow ace Italian sprinter Mario Cipollini (Domina Vacanze) retired from the race on Friday. An X-ray in Italy on Monday revealed the damaged rib, though the doctor said he was more concerned by the 30-year-old rider's shoulder. "It will require around 30 days for it to heal," said Dr

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By Agence France Presse

Top Italian sprinter Alessandro Petacchi has a cracked rib and is still suffering from a badly bruised shoulder, according to his Fassa Bortolo team doctor, and may miss out on next month’s Olympics.

Petacchi sustained the injuries when he crashed in last Thursday’s fifth stage of the Tour de France. He and fellow ace Italian sprinter Mario Cipollini (Domina Vacanze) retired from the race on Friday.

An X-ray in Italy on Monday revealed the damaged rib, though the doctor said he was more concerned by the 30-year-old rider’s shoulder.

“It will require around 30 days for it to heal,” said Dr Emilio Magni. “The pain will go away before that. But I am more concerned by the shoulder than the cracked rib.”

The Italian, who won four stages in the flat sections in last year’s Tour, had a disappointing start to this year’s edition. After winning nine stages in the Giro d’Italia in May, he failed to challenge in the Tour’s first three big sprints and was lying 83rd, 13 minutes off the pace, when he abandoned.

The Olympic Games get under way in Athens on August 13 and run till August 29.