American cross-country star Adam Craig underwent surgery to reconstruct an exploded anterior cruciate ligament on February 9 in Bend, Oregon. The Rabobank-Giant off road team rider’s recovery will keep him out of competition until June. Craig made the announcement via his blog on Monday.
Despite the athlete’s affinity for extreme off-season activities including whitewater kayaking, freeriding and big mountain skiing, the he ruptured his ACL during a mundane jog across an icy Bend parking lot on February 3.
"I'm looking at not being able to ride a mountain bike in any remotely risky environment for four months from the date of surgery, February 9th," wrote Craig. "Even though I should be road riding in the next week or so, the new ligament will continue to weaken until about 16 weeks from surgery."
Bend Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Michael Ryan performed an allograft on the rider’s left knee. Ryan's practice Craig is already back on the bike, albeit a stationary one, pedaling slow circles.
"They've given me the conservative angle right now because they don't want me to screw myself up trying to get back too soon," said Craig to BikeRadar. "I'm respecting that because I don't want to end up jacked."
Right now, it's a waiting game for the rider who rarely finds himself on the couch, even in the off-season.
"I haven't felt this rested in 10 years," he joked.
Craig tenatively plans to be road racing by May and hopes to participate in the Mount Hood Classic. It will be his first road race in two years.
"I'm going to try and be good at nationals [July 15-18] and Downieville [July 9-11] if it ends up happening," he said.
Craig apologized to his sponsors for what he calls a "momentary loss of focus" and thanked them for their support. He ended the post with a promise to make good on the season, despite the unplanned late start.
"Good thing world champs are at my beloved Mont St. Anne," he wrote in his blog. "I'm already getting fired up about turning a third or fourth row start into a medal. And I damn well better if I want people to forget about this little hiccup."