Movistar team reports that Mauricio Soler’s life is no longer in danger
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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Movistar team reports that Mauricio Soler’s life is no longer in danger

by Shane Stokes at 12:42 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury
Rider emerging from coma, fears of spinal injuries subside

Mauricio SolerFive days after a severe crash in the Tour de Suisse which saw him airlifted to hospital and placed in an artificial coma, Mauricio Soler is showing encouraging signs in his recovery.

Doctors treating him at the St. Gallen hospital told AP yesterday that they were bringing him out of the coma. This indicated that the danger to him had reduced, and would allow them to get a better idea of how he was affected by the injuries caused by the crash.

“The anesthetic medication is stopped and Mr. Soler is a controlled recovery phase which will last several days,” said the chief surgeon the hospital. He added that a MRI scan of the brain had revealed the presence of multiple small injuries, as was expected given the severity of his impact. He hit a curb during last Thursday’s sixth stage and was catapulted into a barrier.

Today the Team Movistar doctor Alfredo Zúñiga gave feedback from the hospital, reporting that things were going relatively well.

“It can be said that the life-threatening situation has disappeared,” he said in a team release. “He has begun to make light movements and tests seem to rule out spinal injury, although we should be aware of further studies. Now we have to see the evolution of a possible neurological damage, a process in which we must be patient.

“The cerebral edema [fluid in the brain] is subsiding, the intracranial pressure is declining and the development of pneumothorax [collapsed lung] is also positive. Mauricio is still in the intensive care unit and he will stay there for several days.”

Soler took the ninth stage in the 2007 Tour de France and also won the King of the Mountains competition. Since then his career has been hampered by crashes and injuries, but he appeared to be back on track when he won the second stage of the Tour de Suisse last Monday, taking over the race lead.

The yellow jersey passed to Damiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD) on Tuesday, but Soler lay poised in second overall, 54 second back. However his crash on Thursday ended his challenge, and means that he will also miss the Tour de France.

He has been joined in hospital by his wife Patricia and his brother, who arrived from Colombia on Saturday. They will monitor his recovery, and hope that he will return to full health in time. It is not yet known if his career will be affected but, most importantly, he appears to be out of danger.


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