UPDATED: Doctors confirm six-week recovery for Tadej Pogačar after Liège-Bastogne-Liège surgery
Slovenian star undergoes successful surgery, crucial pre-Tour de France altitude camps at question.
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UPDATED: UAE Team Emirates released this statement late Monday from Dr.Adrian Rotunno, the team’s medical director:
“Tadej had a comminuted scaphoid fracture which required a small screw to realign the bone fragments. The procedure was successful and he will begin his recovery period at home
“Due to the nature of the injury, it’s approximately six weeks recovery. Though he will start with immediate rehab, and some training on an indoor trainer in the coming days.”
UAE Emirates is bracing for Tadej Pogačar to be out of action for “four to six weeks” after his crash at Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
Pogačar received successful surgery and had his wrist put into plaster Sunday night after he abandoned the Belgian monument with broken scaphoid and lunate bones.
An injury described as “complicated” may now put Pogačar’s high-altitude roadmap to the Tour de France in peril.
“In addition to the two fractures, Tadej has many wounds on his hands, which first have to heal completely, after which he can carefully start training indoors,” team medic Dr. Adrian Rotunno told Het Laatste Nieuws.
“But the altitude training in May comes too early. Tadej is out for four to six weeks.”
After he blitzed the northern and Ardennes classics, Pogačar was scheduled to kick-start his focused Tour de France preparations in the coming weeks.
Central to his push at the yellow jersey was a Sierra Nevada altitude camp starting mid-May.
Although Pogačar will likely be riding the indoor trainer within a handful of days, the stresses of long days in the mountains less than one month after surgery may come too soon for his initial pre-Tour timeline.
With teams typically spending three weeks at altitude to fully absorb the benefits of life at thin air, Pogačar could either see a reduced schedule on Sierra Nevada or disruption to his plans to race the Tour of Slovenia, starting June 14.
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‘Too early’ to understand impact on Tour de France preparation
Pogačar was rushed to hospital in Genk, Belgium, after he was caught up in Mikkel Honoré’s double-puncture pothole crash Sunday.
The 24-year-old was immediately operated on by local specialists and left the facility before 8 p.m. local time.
While broken scaphoid bones are seen as a regular hazard for pro cyclists, the typically slow-healing lunate bone could prove problematic.
UAE Emirates team boss Mauro Gianetti told Wielerflits Pogačar’s roadmap to the Tour de France should become more apparent later this week.
“It’s too early. We don’t have enough information about it,” Gianetti said as he waited on Pogačar’s surgery Sunday afternoon.
“The important thing now is that with the operation everything will be fine and in the next two to three days probably we will have more information to manage the preparation for the Tour. We wish everything will be OK.”