Hoogerland released from hospital, might yet ride this year’s Tour de France
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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Hoogerland released from hospital, might yet ride this year’s Tour de France

by Shane Stokes at 10:11 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury
 
Dutchman could return to competition in early May

johnny hoogerlandTwo weeks after being hit by a car and badly injured while training in Spain, Johnny Hoogerland is making a good recovery, has said that he plans to return to racing in three months and could yet do the Tour de France.

The Vancasoleil DCM rider was involved in a bad accident a fortnight ago and suffered a number of injuries as a result, including several broken ribs, fractured vertebrae, a bruised liver and some internal bleeding. Despite the gravity of those injuries, he has made good progress and has been released from hospital.

According to NOS.nl, Hoogerland hopes to return to training in four weeks’ time and to resume racing in early May.

The news is very encouraging for his fans, who may have wondered how well he’d be able to return after a bad crash.

“Physically I should have a full recovery,” he said in the days after his accident. “Mentally it’s a different story, I’m certainly aware of that. Without help, I really can’t deal with this new blow.”

Hoogerland already had a close call in the 2011 Tour de France when poor driving by a France Televisions car on the race saw himself and fellow breakaway rider Juan Antonio Flecha badly injured. Hoogerland was flung into a barbed wire fence and suffered bad lacerations as a result.

He knows that he has some nervous times ahead of him. “I will initially be frightened,” he said at a press conference. ”But I'm really going to cycle again. The team is assisting me well.”

According to the doctor Bas Pijnenburg, who also spoke at the press conference, Hoogerland’s rib fractures were the most serious as they could have damaged his lungs. His vertebral fractures were to the side of those bones and were therefore not considered as dangerous as they might have been. The injury to his liver means that he will have to be careful in the next four weeks, taking things gently.

However in the medium term it appears that he should be able to get back to top level competition. “The Tour is theoretically possible,” Hoogerland said with some relief.

The 29 year old Dutchman has received an apology from the driver who hit him. “He said sorry,” said Hoogerland. “He said he really didn’t see me.”

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