The knee injury that forced Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) to miss the Tour de France is more serious than previously thought. A new MRI scan at the academic hospital in Maastricht revealed a tear in a tendon in Dumoulin's knee, a result of a crash during the Giro d'Italia. The diagnosis means a longer rehabilitation for the Dutchman.
"As we all know Tom crashed hard in the Giro and the impact caused several different injuries to his bone, tendon, cartilage and soft tissue within his knee," said Team Sunweb physician Anko Boelens.
"We closely monitored the injuries via MRI scans and step by step, together with Tom, determined the optimum between rest, training and treatment. At the moment, the tendon is the limiting factor. For the last three weeks the focus on making it to the Tour de France has been shifted to a focus on full recovery and that will continue to be the case in the next period."
After Dumoulin's crash during stage 4 of the Giro d'Italia, it was thought the rehabilitation would take only a few weeks of rest. Dumoulin started the Criterium du Dauphine and made it as far as stage 6 before abandoning the race.
Doctors then found that there was still a small piece of asphalt inside Dumoulin's knee and surgically removed it, closing the wound with ten stitches. Dumoulin was en route to an altitude training camp to prepare for the Tour de France when he turned around, knowing that the Tour was not feasible.
Rumours began to circulate that Dumoulin would try to break his contract with Sunweb over the team's management of his injury, but the rider quashed the speculation, saying a change of teams was out of the question.