Alessandro Ballan recovering well after abdomen and leg surgery
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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Alessandro Ballan recovering well after abdomen and leg surgery

by Ben Atkins at 5:01 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury
Former World champion “moved by all the messages of support”

alessandro ballanAlessandro Ballan (BMC Racing) is recovering well in Spanish hospital, following surgery on his abdomen and spleen, his team reports. The Italian former World champion crashed badly on Thursday, on the penultimate day of the BMC Racing Team training camp, suffering severe abdominal trauma and a double fracture to his left femur.

Ballan went into surgery on Thursday night, to remove his ruptured spleen, and the decision was taken to also repair his fractured femur; with the operation going well into Friday morning.

"When the doctors realised he would have to stay in the hospital longer because of his abdominal injuries, they decided to take care of his femur at the same time since he was already sedated," said BMC Racing’s chief medical officer Max Testa. "The orthopaedic surgeon said he was very pleased with how the bones lined up and the doctors are cautiously optimistic that he will make a full recovery with no complications."

Testa payed tribute to the staff of Hospital Dénia Marina Salud, where Ballan is scheduled to remain for at least the next few days.

"They have been doing a great job of monitoring him closely and going to great lengths to make sure he is receiving good care," said Testa.

Ballan himself has been in the company of his wife Daniela since Friday morning, and has been attended by BMC Racing Team doctor Dario Spinelli since the accident occurred. Since news broke of the Italian Classics specialist’s crash, he has been inundated with messages of support, via email, Twitter, and on the team’s Facebook page.

"I have been moved by all the messages of support I have received," said Ballan. "It lifts my spirits to know there are so many people all over the world who are wishing me well for a fast recovery. Thank you to everyone."

According to BMC Racing Team president and general manager Jim Ochowicz, the whole team of riders and personnel has been deeply affected by Ballan’s crash. The 2008 World champion was due to begin his season at next month’s Santos Tour Down Under; this will obviously not now be possible, but the team has yet to decide on his replacement.

“We don't know how long Alessandro will be out of competition, but I'm confident our other riders will dig a little deeper to make up for his absence,” Ochowicz said. “What's been nice to see is how everyone has stepped up from the moment this happened, especially Dr. Spinelli, who is giving up his holidays.”


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