Andy Schleck underwent surgery on his injured knee Wednesday morning after the damage was found to be worse than originally thought. The Trek Factory Racing rider crashed near the end of the third stage of the Tour de France, and was able to finish the stage, although obviously in pain.
Tuesday morning it was announced that the knee injury was severe enough to cause him to abandon the race. The team announced that Schleck would travel to Basel, Switzerland, for further examinations to determine whether surgery would be needed.
It was indeed necessary, and on Wednesday morning, Trek tweeted that Schleck had suffered "rupture of both the collateral and cruciate ligaments of the knee plus a tear in the meniscus and a lot of bone bruises."
"Besides the ligaments and the meniscus, we can also confirm that the cartilage behind the knee cap is damaged, which is the worst and most painful part of Andy’s injury," team doctor Andreas Gösele said after surgery on the Trek website. "The surgeons have removed a part of the meniscus and have arthroscopically shaved the damaged cartilage. In terms of rehab he cannot put load on his knee for at least two weeks, so crutches will be necessary."
"I'm feeling pretty bad, to understate it," Schleck said. "I'm gutted. My knee looks like there's been an explosion inside. I'll be on crutches for at least two week and from there on we will see. I cannot ask for a detailed time line right now, and that is hard to deal with.
"There's nothing else I can do. Acceptance is the first step of my rehab and I'm working on that now. There's lots of work to be done before I’ll be back, but I'm used to fighting back."
The 2010 Tour de France champion has struggled to regain his top form since 2011, when he crashed in the Criterium du Dauphine and fractured his hip.