Eeckhout to return to racing in a month

Belgian relieved to not be sitting in a wheelchair after breaking vertebra

Niko Eeckhout will have to sit out from racing for a month with a broken vertebra, but has gladly accepted his enforced break after considering how much worse it could have been. A back specialist said that a new scan showed it would be safe for the An Post-Sean Kelly rider to return to racing in four week's time.

“When he showed me the picture, I saw how close everything was,” the 39-year-old told the Belga news agency. “I've been very lucky, or else I might be in a wheelchair now. “

That knowledge has helped him to accept the injury. “It makes it slightly easier to resign myself to this misfortune; it could have been much worse.”

Eeckhout broke a vertebra in a crash in the GP Pino Cerami on April 8, but extent of his injury was not revealed until a week later. He started in both the Brabantse Pijl and the GP Denain, but had to abandon both due to the pain.

Eeckhout is expected to resume light training on Monday.

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