Recovering Ballan undergoes additional surgery after readmission to hospital
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Monday, February 11, 2013

Recovering Ballan undergoes additional surgery after readmission to hospital

by VeloNation Press at 5:54 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury
Team believes rider can still return later this year

Alessandro BallanFormer world champion Alessandro Ballan has suffered a setback in his recovery from a big crash in December, with the Italian having to undergo emergency surgery in recent days. He started feeling stomach pain last Tuesday and this worsened, leading to him returning to hospital.

“Because the pain wasn't that intense and continuous I thought it was a digestive problem,” he explained. “On Wednesday night, the pain became very intense so I went to the hospital.”

According to BMC Racing Team doctor Max Testa, doctors realised he had problems with his appendix. In addition to that, exploratory surgery carried out by doctors showed that adhesions had formed after his December surgery to remove his spleen. They needed to operate to fix the problem.

“The surgery to remove the adhesions and his appendix was very successful and he is doing well,” said Dr. Testa.

The operation is the latest setback for Ballan, who was motivated for a good 2013 season but who crashed on December 19th in the Costa Blanca area of Spain. He fell while descending the Coll de Rates climb toward the end of a four-hour training ride with the team, and suffered a double fracture to his left leg plus a fractured rib.

He also had a small puncture in his lung, plus damage to his spleen which necessitated its removal.

Fortunately, his latest operation is not expected to extend his time off the bike, which will already see him miss a substantial amount of the season. “I do not think this will impact the original timetable we had for him to return to racing in four months,” said Testa. “But he will stay off the stationary bike for a couple weeks.”

Ballan is understandably relieved, and wants to move onwards. “I want to look forward to the future and riding with my teammates again. No more hospitals anymore,” he said.


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