Boyer: Monier is lucky to be alive

French rider Damien Monier, who was hit by a car during training on Saturday, is in stable condition at the hospital of Clermont-Ferrand. Monier, who won a stage at the 2010 Giro d'Italia, suffered several facial fractures to his jaw and nose as well as a fracture to the base of the skull. Fortunately, there was no bleeding inside the skull, and the break did not affect the cervical vertebrae.

"But his morale is good, given his situation," Cofidis team manager Eric Boyer told Cyclingnews. "At least, the driver of the car that hit him stopped to attend to him immediately. Medical help was sought right away, so everything was OK from that point of view."

A first surgery was performed on the week-end but a second operation will be needed to repair important injuries to his front teeth. The surgery is planned for Thursday or Friday but the medical staff has to wait for his facial swelling to diminish.

"He currently receives liquid nutrition through a straw," continued Boyer. "His jaw is immobilised, he cannot move."

Monier is expected to spend another 10 days in hospital before returning home. "I think he'll be able to get back on a home trainer only by the end of February. Then, you have to count one month of training, so he'll be ready for competition only at the beginning of April," Boyer said.

"He really came close. This could have ended much worse."

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