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De Wilde's Scheldeprijs injuries less serious than first feared

Cycling News
April 07, 2011, 9:33 BST,
April 07, 2011, 11:23 BST
First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, April 7, 2011
Sjef De Wilde (Veranda's Willems - Accent) is assisted by medics after a crash

Sjef De Wilde (Veranda's Willems - Accent) is assisted by medics after a crash

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No fractures to vertebrae for Belgian

Belgian rider Sjef De Wilde and his family have been relieved to find out that the injuries to his vertebrae are less dangerous than previously feared. The Veranda's Willems rider crashed hard in the final sprint of the Scheldeprijs on Wednesday, taking down other riders with him, and was immediately transported to the Schoten hospital where two fractured vertebrae were diagnosed.

On Thursday morning, however, Belgian site Sporza said that a second scan had been performed and that De Wilde's first cervical vertebrae C1 was not fractured after all. The immediate danger of the rider being paralysed was therefore discarded.

The rider remains in intensive care as he also suffered a light brain haemorrhage, but he has been transferred to the hospital of Duffel, closer to his home.

"He will certainly need two months to rehabilitate and will have to wear a neck brace for a while," said Dieter Deprez of the Veranda's Willems team. "But the C1 is not broken and that is very important."

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