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Boonen may need surgery on saddle sore

Tom Boonen continues to suffer from the saddle sore which forced him to miss the Eneco Tour, and while it is improving, it may still require surgery. His Omega Pharma-Quick Step team is working hard to get the former World Champion back on the bike, but only when he is healthy.

Boonen was unable to ride the Eneco Tour due to the saddle sore. His whole 2013 season has been marked by injuries and illnesses.

“There is noticeable improvement,” Omega Pharma-QuickStep sports director Wilfried Peeters  optimistically told the Gazet van Antwerpen.

"We have instructed him to stay off the bike as long as possible. He has not done more than an hour."

“Next week there is a scheduled appointment with the doctor and then we'll know more. This is really a serious case and it can go either way. We just hope that no surgery is involved.”

That makes it difficult to predict when Boonen may race again. His 2013 season could be over.

"Healing is the priority and only when it is so far, can we make statements about his program," Peeters said.

Boonen has only one win this season, a stage at the Tour de Wallonie at the end of July. In comparison, he had 12 wins in 2012, including Gent-Wevelgem, Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.

During the winter he was hospitalized for intestinal problems and then an infected wound on his elbow. Crashes in the spring caused further problems, and he suffered from the flu earlier this summer.

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