Bjorn Leukemans (Vacansoleil-DCM) has been ruled out of the three forthcoming Ardennes Classics following his crash at the Tour of Flanders, but has received a boost with the news that the injury to his knee isn't as serious as first feared and will not require surgery.
Missing the Ardennes races will be a bitter blow for the 34-year-old Belgian as he showed excellent form last year at Amstel Gold (seventh) and Leige-Bastogne-Liege (ninth). But as he stated on his personal website today, things could have been much worse.
“The specialist gave my knee a comprehensive examination," Leukemans said. "He came to the conclusion that surgery is not necessary because no tear to the meniscus was found. The cartilage in the knee was strained by the sudden stop at the foot of the famous Paterberg, hence the fluid that was building up during training efforts.
“The opinion of the specialist is that I can now start to build my training up easily, starting with an hour a day. In the circumstances, this is the best news I could get… If the recovery goes smoothly, I can minimize the damage. It’s as yet impossible to say when I can return to competition.”