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Aru back on bike but still out of Giro d'Italia

The Astana team has confirmed that Fabio Aru will not participate in this year’s Giro d’Italia despite reporting an improvement in the condition of his injured left knee following his most recent medical examination.

Aru ruled himself out of the Giro when he was diagnosed with pre-patellar bursitis following a training crash at Sierra Nevada on April 2. This year’s Giro gets underway in his native Sardinia on May 5, and his former teammate Vincenzo Nibali last week penned an open letter to Aru urging him to try to start the corsa rosa.

Following an examination by Professor Franco Combi, Aru was permitted to ride his bike for the first time in more than two weeks on Wednesday, but in a statement issued on Thursday morning, his Astana team reiterated that he will not be able to participate in the Giro.

“The emerging clinical picture describes a remarkable improvement and the athlete no longer feels pain while walking,” the statement read. “The bursitis found in the visit on April 10th is almost completely reabsorbed, although there remains some cartilage damage.

“It was therefore decided to continue the therapies until the functionality of the joint has been completely recovered, and to try to resume pedalling, though with a very low initial effort to test the knee response to the pedalling motion.”

Aru rode for two hours on the flat at a gentle pace on Wednesday, Astana explained. “His feelings were positive despite the fact that there was still a slight pain in the knee while pedalling.”

Despite the improvement in his condition, Astana added that Aru will not take part in this year’s Giro and no date has yet been established for his return to the peloton. In Aru’s absence, Michele Scarponi will lead Astana at the Giro, while Jakob Fuglsang has been preparing from the start of the season to lead the team at the Tour de France.

“As previously reported, as a consequence of this injury, Fabio Aru will not be able to take part at the Giro d'Italia 2017 and his return to racing will be decided by the Astana Pro Team when the injury recovery will be complete,” the Astana statement read.

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