Alessandro Petacchi's broken left kneecap is healing well, but it will be another 10 days before he can get back on the bike again. Petacchi broke it in a crash during stage 3 of the Giro d'Italia on May 8, and has not been able to ride since. But on Wednesday afternoon in the San Rossore clinic in Pisa, an examination of his knee revealed that the bone had regrown enough for him to commence physiotherapy on it, as well as electrostimulation to regain the muscle tone. He will still have to wear a protective covering on it when he walks, but he is expected to be able to ride again in a week and a half.
"Finally I can take this guard off, even if I will continue to carry it when I walk," said a relieved Petacchi. "At the moment, I can only manage to bend the knee 30 degrees, and the physiotherapist should be able to give me back full mobility by the end of the week. It goes without saying that I can't climb on my bike now. I know that in the coming days I will suffer a lot to be able to bend the knee to 45 degrees, and the absence of muscle will not make this task easy. I will start from zero, but I have so much desire that I should take care not to do too much at the beginning in order not to lengthen my recovery time."