Petacchi successfully operated on

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Alessandro Petacchi underwent surgery in the San Rossore Clinic in Pisa on Wednesday. The two-hour operation was successful, the team announced, and healing time has now been estimated at five weeks. In three weeks' time, x-rays will show if the bone is regenerating properly.

"The operation was more complicated than usual, but it seems all went very well," said Petacchi, who received a local anaesthetic. "Being awake while operated on did have a certain effect on me - they talked to me as if they weren't doing something delicate. I didn't feel any pain, but it was strange not to feel my legs anymore. I will have a splint and walk with crutches for five weeks, and I hope that the control in three weeks' time will allow me to anticipate a bit. I have a big desire to return to racing and winning, but I don't want to compromise my recovery. I still have some years ahead of me in my career."

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