Valverde heads home to Spain after successful surgery

37-year-old on road to recovery after crash in opening stage of Tour de France

Alejandro Valverde has left the hospital and returned home to Spain following surgery on his left knee, according to a press release from the Movistar team.

Valverde broke his kneecap and his talus bone, in addition to suffering a deep gash in his leg in a crash in the opening time trial of the Tour de France. The injuries sustained in the fall forced the 37-year-old to abandon the race.

Having successfully completed surgery five days ago, Valverde has finally left Düsseldorf and headed home to Murcia in southeastern Spain to continue his recovery.

"Everything's going on the right track," he said via the release. "The most important thing at this point is to take slow but safe steps. It's going to be a long process, and we must remain calm and confident. The doctors, though, seem really satisfied about how everything has evolved so far - and that makes me happy."

Valverde is at this point capable of walking with crutches and can bend his knee slightly, though he'll likely not race again this season.

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