Hip problem delays start to Augustyn’s season, operation required
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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hip problem delays start to Augustyn’s season, operation required

by Xylon van Eyck at 6:14 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury
Sky Procycling rider to undergo hip replacement surgery

John Lee AugustynA crash in 2007 has come back to haunt John Lee Augustyn (Sky Procycling) and has forced him out of the first half of the season. The 24 year old broke the head of his femur when he fell during a rainy time trial stage in the 2007 Tour of Portugal.

Knee problems and sickness also saw him miss out on important races last season, including abandoning the Vuelta a Espana on stage three after illness swept through the team.

Augustyn was scheduled to start the 2011 season in the Volta ao Algarve on the 16 February, but bad luck again crept its way into his plans.

"My form was really good at our training camp in January in Mallorca and the data we collected during training were great,” he said this week. “Sadly the pain in my leg returned last year so I just did stretches everyday thinking it was just stiffness. I increased the stretches as the pain became more frequent, until the week leading up to Algarve when I knew something was seriously wrong"

The South African found out last week that the head of his femur is crumbling due to a lack of blood flow. It’s a possible effect from the 2007 fall he had been warned about. The condition, osteonecrosis, is something that Floyd Landis also suffered from and which necessitated a hip replacement in 2006.

Augustyn also needs to go under the knife to correct the issue. He will undergo surgery in Cape Town where a Birmingham Hip Resurfacing will be performed. It’s a process where a cobalt-chrome metal cap is placed over the head of the femur, while a matching metal cup is placed in the pelvis. These replace the articulating surfaces of the hip joint.

He will fly back to Italy to recover and hopes to be back on the bike after 6 weeks. “The team has been really supportive and have been in touch with me all the time. I will hope to get back to full recovery to repay them for their faith in me,” he said.

The former Team Barloworld rider is known for summiting the Col de la Bonette first, during the 2008 Tour De France, then sliding down a scree-strewn mountain side after misjudging a hairpin corner.

His best results in 2010 were sixth and tenth on two mountain top finishes in the Tour of Austria.


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