Etixx-QuickStep doctors say Boonen could start training in six weeks

Belgian remains in Middle East while recovering from Abu Dhabi crash

Despite reports that Tom Boonen could be out of cycling for as long as six months following his Abu Dhabi Tour crash - derailing his ability to contest the Spring Classics next year - Etixx-QuickStep said today that the team’s star rider will likely be able to start training in six weeks.

Boonen crashed heavily during stage 2 in Abu Dhabi, hitting his head and fracturing his temporal bone. The Belgian rider could be seen lying motionless on the road, and the team initially feared the worst when they saw blood, which was a result of the temporal fracture. Boonen said he remembers nothing of the crash and lost about half an hour of memory.

In a statement released to the media on Monday, the team said Boonen is feeling well and moved from a hospital in Abu Dhabi to a hotel. Boonen will undergo a CT scan on Thursday that will determine when he can return home to Belgium.

"I'm pretty optimistic," Boonen said. "I'm still tired but I'm feeling good. Now I only need to give time for the fracture to heal, and time for myself to rest. I want to thank the medical staff of the hospital. I am in really good hands here. Also I received a lot of visits from the Abu Dhabi sports government. They really looked after me, just as my team is doing since the moment of the crash."

Team Doctor Yvan Van Mol praised Boonen’s recovery so far and was optimistic about his return to training.

“Considering the good clinical evolution, we expect that Tom can start preparing for next season in six weeks,” he said.


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