Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) has resumed training on the road after breaking his collarbone in a crash at the Tour of Flanders but the Swiss rider has revealed that his recovery from injury has taken longer than anticipated.
“It took a long time, longer than I had hoped and longer than anyone had expected,” Cancellara told Het Laatste Nieuws. “I’ve only been back on the road for a few days and it’s still a strange feeling.”
Cancellara’s classics campaign was cut short when he hit the deck during the Tour of Flanders, and while the surgery on his broken collarbone was a success, he explained that he must now build up the muscles in his shoulder after his long period of restricted activity. A further scan this week also revealed ligament damage to the shoulder.
“The broken collarbone was one thing, but the damage around it was greater than expected. The shoulder, ligaments, muscles, everything was lost,” Cancellara said. “After the surgery I was hopeful. The pain quickly disappeared, and within a week I was off medication. Everything was going well, but then I began to feel something in my shoulder. On Monday, I had another scan done, and they found a tear in a ligament.”
After being confined to the rollers for most of April, Cancellara returned to training on the road last week, but he has been forced to tinker with his position to alleviate the pain from the ligament damage to his shoulder.
“I’m searching for another position on the bike, the saddle and handlebars are different to normal. I must sit upright as much as possible, which isn’t comfortable. I feel like a cyclo-tourist on a bike,” he said.
“And because of that, I have pain in my knees and back. For Thursday, I had planned to train for four hours, but I’m a bit reluctant. It feels like I’m back after a long winter to rebuild for the beginning of a new season.”
Cancellara’s return to competitive action is tentatively slated for the Tour of Bavaria (May 22-27), as he looks to build towards the London 2012 Olympics, his primary objective of the second half of the season.