Several days after breaking his collarbone in the fourth stage of the Tour of California, Scott Nydam has already started what he hopes will be an accelerated path to recovery and racing.
Though the crash was one of the worst in his career, and the second time in five months that he has broken this particular collarbone, Nydam feels anxious to get back to doing what he loves.
"I am feeling better each day," Nydam said. "It was rough for the first day and a half, just getting over the effects of surgery and anaesthesia."
Nydam underwent surgery after the crash. When Nydam broke his collarbone in the Tour of Utah last August, he was operated on by the team doctor, Eric Heiden. Dr. Heiden secured the collarbone at the time with a titanium plate to insure the proper and prompt mending of the bone. In Nydam's crash during the Tour of California, the fracture started where the titanium plate left off.
"The fracture was pretty much as expected, especially since this is a common injury among cyclists," Dr. Heiden said. "We took out the whole plate and replaced it with a larger one." Due to the manner in which Nydam crashed, he was unable to brace for the fall.
"This break was a little more complicated than the last so there's more surface area that needs healing," Nydam explained.
"It's a bit more painful this time around," said Nydam, "but I've been able to stay in Utah since the surgery and have seen Dr. Heiden and Dr. Testa each day."
One of Nydam's foremost concerns is when will he be able to race again and will he be able to train well enough to be competitive come time for the selection of team members going to Europe for races.
"It was a very straightforward operation," Dr. Heiden explained. "He should be back on the bike this week and racing within four to six weeks." Though he will initially only start spinning his legs, it shouldn't be too long before he can start putting in stronger efforts in training.
"I'm heading home Monday, am off the pain killers and already thinking about starting to spin my legs," Nydam said. With major team goals just weeks away, Nydam's motivation is high.