By Shane Stokes
Having come out of a coma on Wednesday, 23 year old US rider Saul Raisin took another important step forward on Thursday when doctors took him off the ventilator he had been on since his condition worsened last week.
Family friend Shane Adams has been in contact with parents Jim and Yvonne Raisin and gave another update to fans and friends of the Credit Agricole rider. He said that Raisin was nodding in answer to questions, but "not really talking yet, it may take a day or two to get his voice back." He pointed out that Raisin had a tube in his throat for over a week, and that this could be complicating any attempts to converse.
With Raisin now conscious, doctors made an assessment of the effects of the trauma he had gone through. Adams said that the information he received was encouraging, but that he was awaiting more clarification. "The initial reports are that the damage to the brain isn't as extensive as they first believed. I don't have a baseline on how bad they thought it was, though, so I don't know exactly where we stand here. But it is still good news."
It is thought that Raisin may be flown back to the US in approximately three weeks, the rider most likely transferring to a hospital in Atlanta for further treatment and care there. Cyclingnews will post further updates when more information becomes available.