Sjef De Wilde, the rider who was injured in the Scheldeprijs on Wednesday, was moved out of the intensive care unit his team announced today. Injuries to his neck and back were stabilized but he remains in the hospital to be treated for head injuries, the Team Veranda's Willems-Accent said.
De Wilde crashed in the final sprint on Wednesday, going through the barricades on the side of the course. He was then immediately taken to hospital, where ultimately one fractured vertabrae, a light brain hemorrhage and a concussion were diagnosed.
“I just spoke to Sjef for the first time,” team manger Bill Olivier said. “He is optimistic and has been talking about rehabilitation and returning to the peloton.”
The 29-year-old “has now been allowed to sit up and is able to take solid food".
The head injuries continue to need extensive care. “It is primarily the concussion and the effects of the severe impact on the head that still require further follow-up,” Olivier said. “Currently, Sjef is still struggling to concentrate and also has problems with his short term memory, both due to the heavy blow.”
Olivier added that the rider's helmet absorbed much of the impact, “otherwise the consequences may have been much worse.”