Wiggins apologizes for middle-finger salute to press corps; Sutton remains under observation in hospital

Bradley Wiggins apologized Friday for his gesture towards photographers. Head coach Shane Sutton remains in hospital with head injuries

Sky captain and reigning Tour de France champ Bradley Wiggins apologized Friday for flipping the bird to a cadre of press members after he left a United Kingdom hospital yesterday, and is expected to recover without major issue from a run-in with a van while training earlier this week.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their kind thoughts and messages over the last 48 hours, and of course all the staff at the Royal Preston Hospital who looked after me so well,” Wiggins is quoted as saying on Team Sky’s website. “I would also like to apologize for the gesture that I made when I arrived home yesterday afternoon. I was tired, in a lot of pain, and just wanted to get inside, but I shouldn’t have reacted the way I did. I’m sorry for that.

Wiggins suffered a broken rib, a mild head injury, a bruised lung, and a dislocated finger in the accident. A Team Sky spokesperson said: “Bradley has already recovered from a mild head injury which required overnight observation in hospital on Wednesday.”

“I’m looking forward to getting back on the bike soon and continuing my preparations for the 2013 season,” said Wiggins, who is also the reigning Olympic champion in the time trial.

According to the team, the swelling in his dislocated finger has also reduced and will not require surgery, and he will undergo further X-rays on his fractured rib on Monday.

“He’s convalescing at home with his family and is expected to make a full recovery in a short period of time,” a spokesperson said.

Shane Sutton update

Team Sky’s head coach Shane Sutton was also knocked off his bike on Thursday morning and taken to hospital, having suffered a fractured cheekbone and bleeding in the brain.

A spokesperson for British Cycling said: “Shane is making steady progress but is likely to remain in hospital for one more day under observation.

“He has fractured his cheekbone which will require surgery in due course. He, like Bradley, is expected to make a complete recovery and will be back in work shortly,” the statement read.