Alessandro Ballan suffers ruptured spleen in addition to leg and rib fractures
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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Alessandro Ballan suffers ruptured spleen in addition to leg and rib fractures

by Ben Atkins at 4:38 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury
Italian will have organ removed; faces long layoff as he recovers from multiple injuries

alessandro ballanThe BMC Racing Team has confirmed that Alessandro Ballan was seriously injured as he crashed yesterday, on the penultimate day of the team’s training camp in Dénia, Costa Blanca, Spain. News of the 2008 World champion's crash was reported earlier by, but more details have now been released.

“Ballan was descending the Coll de Rates climb near Parcent toward the end of a four-hour training ride when the high-speed accident occurred,” the team confirmed.

The Italian Classics specialist suffered a mid-shaft, displaced fracture of his left femur, a fracture of his ninth rib and some abdominal trauma; that trauma included an injury to his spleen, which means that the organ will have to be removed. He was transported to a local hospital by team doctor Dario Spinelli, where the injuries were diagnosed.

"The broken rib actually made a small puncture in his lung," said the BMC Racing Team’s chief medical officer Doctor Max Testa. "The first priority is the spleen injury – that is considered a medical emergency."

Doctor Testa also confirmed that Ballan was undergoing surgery to remove his spleen this evening, Thursday, while a decision on when and where his leg will be operated upon will be made at a later date.

Ballan was to have been part of the BMC Racing Team’s seven-man roster for the Santos Tour Down under towards the end of January. He will obviously not be able to take part in the race now, and he also stands to miss the entire Classics season as he recovers.

"Of course his loss means a lot since Alessandro is one of our key riders for the classics," said directeur sportif John Lelangue. "But most important right now is that he can recover and just get back to his normal process. We'll wait for all the medical information before even beginning to think about what could be his plan for coming back."


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