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Rasmussen optimistic about return to pro racing

By:
Antonio J. Salmerón
Published:
October 21, 2006, 1:00 BST,
Updated:
April 20, 2009, 23:32 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News for October 21, 2006

Michael Rasmussen feared his recent injuries would cost him his career as a professional rider, but...

Michael Rasmussen feared his recent injuries would cost him his career as a professional rider, but his latest medical prognosis is more optimistic, according to a report posted on feltet.dk/michaelrasmussen.

The Danish climber broke his femur in a crash during the Giro dell’Emilia. Originally, doctors diagnosed a great risk of necrosis, a slow degeneration of the bone due to poor blood flow. Consequences sometimes include a hip replacement which could put an end to the career of the 32-year-old Dane.

"The doctors that operated (on) my leg said there is a 30% risk of necrosis," he said. "At the same time, they say that I am not allowed to walk for three months." Rasmussen sent the x-rays to another hospital which confirmed the low necrosis risk. They estimated almost zero. "According to them, I may already be back on the bike in the beginning of December."

Noting the difference from his original, possible career-ending prognosis, Rasmussen said, "That makes me slightly frustrated. I am hoping that the doctors in Bologna who operated were trying to play it safe."

“All things considered I am OK," Rasmussen said. "The leg is strong and I am doing quite a few exercises with it. Each day I can see improvement, and I calculate that I will be able to walk a little in a few days. I am 100% convinced that I will come back, and I will be riding stronger in the Tour de France that I ever have. I don’t know if it is an indefatigable optimism or naivety, but I am convinced that I am not finished yet. I have to believe that."

In the beginning of November, Rasmiussen will travel to Holland to visit with specialists. "If they say that the leg is strong enough, then I will start rehabilitation in their rehabilitation center right away." After a second check-up in Bologna in mid-November at the hospital where he had the surgery, Rasmussen will decide what comes next.

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