Soler continues to improve, will soon be moved back to Spain
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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Soler continues to improve, will soon be moved back to Spain

by VeloNation Press at 7:34 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury
Movistar rider making slow progress, situation is going in right direction

Mauricio SolerTwenty days after crashing and piling into a barrier at the Tour de Suisse, the Colombian rider Mauricio Soler is continuing to recover, albeit slowly. He is making slow but steady progress, encouraged by the presence of his wife and her brother.

His Movistar team has issued an update into his health, with team doctor Alfredo Zúñiga saying that things are going in the right direction. “His status is getting better very slowly, but he keeps taking small steps and the doctors are thinking of taking him out of the Intensive Care Unit,” he said. “Due to this, we have started to all arrangements to take him back to Pamplona (Spain). He's not into coma anymore, but is kept under a high drowsiness. He spends most of the time asleep, but when he has moments of lucidity, he responds to easy orders.”

The news fortunately proves incorrect rumours in recent days that doctors were unable to wake him from his coma, and that there were fears of serious brain damage. Instead, he looks to be completely out of danger. At this point, it appears difficult to say whether or not he will be able to resume his career at some point in future.

Zúñiga states that over time, more will be known about the extent of his injuries. “The checks over him still don't remark on any injury at peripheral or medular levels, but this is something we can't rule out at the moment,” he said. “The lung problems are completely under control and he doesn't need artificial respiration…he breathes by himself. The rest of his injuries are also going through a positive progress.

“It's going to be a long, slow process yet, so some weeks can go by with no major news.”

Soler came to international four years ago when he won a stage plus the King of the Mountains title in the 2007 Tour de France. Since then his career has been hampered by a number of crashes, plus resulting wrist and knee problems.

This year’s Tour de Suisse saw a return to form when he took his first win in four years. He beat Damiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD) and Fränk Schleck (Leopard Trek) on the mountain stage to Crans Montana, going clear with the duo and then dropping them inside the final kilometre.

That saw him take over the race lead and while Cunego took over the jersey the following day, Soler remained in contention until his crash. His fans and many in cycling will hope that his career didn’t end with that incident, and that he will eventually be able to return and win again.


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