Off-season over as Schleck returns to training
The knee problems of Team Saxo Bank's Fränk Schleck seem to be finally over. After a crash in the Amstel Gold Race, the Luxemburger was experiencing pain in his knee during almost the whole 2009 season, and underwent surgery in September.
In an interview on the team sponsor's website, however, he said that since he resumed training, he didn't feel any pain in his knee anymore.
"I'm really happy with it," Schleck explained. "I had surgery, then I spent five weeks off the bike. I started training slowly again, just cruising around, and today, I have no pain on the bike. So it should be alright."
Although the knee injury did not prevent him from winning stage 17 of the Tour de France and finishing fifth on general classification, Schleck did have to drop out of the Vuelta later in the season to get the problem fixed.
"I had problems since April," he continued. "It kept coming and going, we pushed it through the Tour and afterwards I went to see yet another specialist who said that it was a soft tissue problem. I asked him if I could damage it more by continuing to ride, and he said 'no', that I only had to stand the pain.
"So I wanted to ride the Vuelta and the Worlds before having my surgery. But in the Vuelta I was in a lot of pain again, and decided to stop it right there. I think that was the right decision."
Now, both of the Schleck brothers are well underway in their preparation for the 2010 season, with their big goals again being the Ardennes Classics and of course the Tour de France. "It's going to be pretty easy," added Fränk when being asked what the brothers' objectives were in the spring of next year. "I won Amstel, so now Andy can win it. He won Liège, so now I will aim for that! And we're good at this sort of thing... At least, that's the plan!"
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