Having to postpone a debut season on the WorldTour would be a blow to any aspiring young cyclist, and for Rob Power it was no different. The Australian signed for Orica-GreenEdge next year but was recently diagnosed with Bone Marrow Oedema Syndrome that could take up to two years to recover from, however, director Matt White said the team will wait for him.
“Rob is 20 years old,” White said in a team press release. “Obviously it’s disappointing for any athlete to have an injury that sidelines them from competing, but a lot of guys don’t turn professional when they are 20, 21 or 22 years of age so it’s not going to have a huge affect on his career at all.
“We don’t know when he will be back but we do know that it will go away. In the meantime, it allows him to work on some other areas of his fitness that will assist his performance on the bike that may have otherwise taken a back seat in the short term.
“And then once it has followed its due course and he is ready, he will be straight back into the team.”
Power won the Giro Cicistico della Valle d’Aosta in July but then began experiencing knee pain. Upon further examination from a panel of sports physicians, including Dr David Hughes and Dr Greg Lovell from the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), it was determined that he had a rare bone marrow oedema, a form of bone stress with an MRI appearance similar to a bone bruise but not related to trauma.
Power is disappointed but confident that he will return to racing his bike in the future.
“Of course it’s disappointing that I can’t join the Orica-GreenEdge boys as planned early next year,” Power said in a team press release. “As frustrating as any injury can be, especially one that you can’t do much to assist in its recovery, I’m grateful that we now know what the problem is.
“I appreciate the level of support shown to me by my team, the AIS and WAIS and I’m extremely motivated to use this time productively to not only recover fully, but to further my development in other areas off the bike and return a more rounded rider and person.”
Power will work with the West Australian Institute of Sport (WAIS) in their elite swimming and kayaking programs to maintain fitness in non-weight-bearing activities during his recovery.
“We are extremely lucky in Australia to have access to the resources we do,” said the team's medical director Dr Peter Barnes. “Not only did we have some of the world’s best on hand to diagnose the problem, but we also have a facility like WAIS in Rob’s home town that can provide a program and support him to a full recovery,”