Successful heart surgery for Navardauskas

Lithuanian out since June with arrhythmia

Ramunas Navardauskas has undergone successful surgery for cardiac arrhythmia, Bahrain-Merida announced on Friday. The Lithuanian has not raced since abandoning the Criterium du Dauphine on the final stage in June.

The surgery was performed on Thursday at a specialized coronary clinic in Munich, Germany. "The problem was localized in sinoatral node. He feels good and he can leave the clinic today or tomorrow, depending on whether he completes the final medical tests," said Bahrain Merida doctor Carlo Guardascione.

"As post operative care he will take anticoagulants for 6/8 weeks. During this time, he can continue training indoors, thereafter he will do further medical tests and strength tests to understand whether he is completely recovered from the cardiac arrhythmia."

"I am feeling well and recovering in the best way possible thanks to the medical staff of the Herzzentrum clinic of München who have been fantastic to me and I would like to thank everyone from my team, especially the medical staff for their great support and help," Navardauskas said on the team website.

General Manager Brent Copeland noted that "it has been a difficult year for Ramunas and we at Bahrain Merida have definitely felt his missed presence at many races, Ramunas is one of the most important riders for our team roster, he is one of the hardest workers in the peloton and we certainly looking forward to his return after he recovers completely, thank you to our teams medical staff for all the attentive details they always invest into our athletes which to us at Bahrain Merida is considered a huge importance."

Navardauskas will draw solace from the experience of Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo), who underwent surgery for cardiac arrhythmia in 2014, and made a successful return to competition. Other riders with cardiac problems have been forced into retirement in recent years, including Gianni Meersman, Johan Vansummeren and Kim Kirchen.

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