World cyclo-cross champion Zdenek Stybar has been given the green light to begin training next week and hopes to be back in action just after Christmas.
The powerful Czech rider was worried he would require surgery to resolve a knee problem that has affected him for several weeks but that has now been ruled out.
“I'm very relieved the MRI scan has shown that I don't need surgery. However I need to build up very gradually and long endurance rides to regain fitness aren't possible yet.” he explained on his website.
“For now I'm still looking at the end of December. With the diagnosis I received today that should be attainable. Next week I leave for Spain, perhaps Mallorca.”
Stybar won the first two rounds of both the World Cup and the Superprestige series and looked set to again dominant the cross season. However he has struggled with the injury since mid-November and treatment failed to resolve the problem, forcing him to take time off the bike.
He missed the recent World Cup race in Igorre, Spain and so lost the overall lead and has also slipped to third in the Superprestige series.
Because of his injury and time out of competition, he is expected to focus on the world championships in St Wendel, Germany at the end of January.