Longer recovery possible for Armstrong

By Les Clarke Having returned to the United States of America after breaking his collarbone during...

American says Giro remains very doable

By Les Clarke

Having returned to the United States of America after breaking his collarbone during stage one of the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon, Lance Armstrong may face a longer recovery time than first expected. Speaking from Austin, Texas, Armstrong told journalists that local sports surgeon Doug Vlenz had advised that the injury was more complicated than initial examinations had indicated.

"The film wasn't that clear and it wasn't that close up, so we did another film here at his [Vlenz's] office, and it showed the clavicle in quite a few more pieces than originally thought," said Armstrong. "Now we're going to do a CT scan."

It's anticipated that the CT scan images will shed more light on what Vlenz's procedure needs to achieve. Armstrong admitted that regardless of any complications, the surgical procedure will remain very similar to what was initially required.

"I think even if it was either way we were still going to plate, and we'll be doing that at 7 o'clock tomorrow morning. He wants to get more film and clearer CT scan images so he knows what he's dealing with when he gets in there, but there will be a plate placed on top of the clavicle that tries to anatomically put all the stuff back together."

The American, whose return to racing on European soil spanned only the Milano-Sanremo Classic and most of Castilla's opening stage before the accident occurred, outlined his initial recovery plans.

"All he has said is that we'll have surgery tomorrow morning and as soon as I get out of there I'll need 72 hours where I do absolutely nothing," said Armstrong. "At that point they'll check me again and perhaps three or four days later we can consider riding on an indoor trainer.

"Honestly, it seems to me that if the surgery goes well, the plate fits nicely and the whole thing comes together I don't think it complicates things for the future any more than the initial opinion."

Despite being audibly fatigued, Armstrong sounded optimistic about his chances of making it to the Giro d'Italia start on May 9. "The Giro is obviously on people's minds, and that's about five weeks away...In my opinion I still think the Giro is very doable."

Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for more news on Armstrong's recovery plans.

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