After months of trying to recover from a shoulder injury, Magnus Backstedt has decided to go under the knife for the fourth time in four months to have a metal plate removed from his shoulder on Tuesday.
Backstedt was involved in a high speed crash on the track in October when he and fellow countryman Freddy Johansson tangled on a madison change. The crash sent the big Swede straight into the bottom of the banking, snapping his shoulder on impact, resulting in a 5th degree shoulder separation. Surgery was required to screw a titanium plate to the collarbone and a hook inserted into the shoulder joint to allow scar tissue to replace the torn tendons.
Backsted expressed his frustration with the slow pace of recovery to Cyclingnews earlier this week, saying "I will keep on working and hope that things improve and take it from there. Sooner or later it will sort itself out, but would rather it was on the sooner side! For now, the Classics are still a target and until a moment I decide I can't actually ride with this, then they still will be on the list."
"For me the shoulder is an aggravation because my legs are great. I spent such a long time off the bike, but my power figures are on par if not higher than last year, I just can't pull on the bars. I managed to complete two stages of the Tour of Majorca without being able to hold the bars properly. My team decided that it was too much of a risk for me to continue, so I returned to the UK to see my surgeon again"
The diagnosis from Backstedt's surgeon was that the damage to the shoulder was sufficiently healed to go ahead and remove the hook and plate. While he is under the general anesthetic, his surgeon will also treat mobility issues, and Backstedt thinks he'll be back in time for the Classics.
"My surgeon was confident that removing the plate and manipulating the shoulder should be fairly straightforward.I should only be off the bike for a maximum of a week and this will give me a fighting chance of being on the start line in shape for Roubaix."