Olympian Sam Schultz (Sho-Air/Cannondale) is undergoing a second back surgery this week and will continue to be out of competition as he does his subsequent rehab. The elite mountain biker had hoped to make a comeback to racing this season, but back problems continued to plague his efforts to rejoin the peloton after an injury-filled 2013.
"This year has involved incredible support, tons of excitement, an immense amount of hard work and passion; followed by lots of disappointment, questions, and a hunt for the best plan to turn things around - again," said Schultz on his team's blog.
Schultz headed into the surgery both nervous and excited.
"The doctor will be going in to give me an instrumented fusion at L4/L5 along with a foraminotomy at L5/S1 to give my nerves a bit more breathing room. Fusions suck," said Schultz. "And I tried to avoid a formal fusion from the start, but in my case, after countless consultations with the best doctors around, I am convinced that this is the right call."
He is expecting a long recovery with three months before he can do much more than walk. He plans to travel to southern California to help with his team's bike shop during recovery.
Schultz was the US Cross Country Mountain Bike National Champion in 2012 and represented the US at the Olympic Games in London that same year.