Cardiac 'anomaly' forces Navardauskas out for at least one month

Heinrich Haussler returned to riding Saturday following a recent arthroscopic treatment of his knee, while Ramunas Navarduaskas is out for at least a month after tests detected a cardiac arrhythmia.

Bahrain-Merida updated both riders' conditions Saturday on the team website.

“All is going very good after the arthroscopy, no pain, not much swelling and I feel good,” Haussler said. “I went for my first ride today and it went very well. Now I will just follow the normal rehab protocol, build up my left leg up again and as soon as I can get back to normal training again I will be back with my teammates out on the road and the races.”

Haussler initially injured his left knee in a crash in November 2016. After a series of conservative treatments, it was decided to operate in January, causing him to miss the official presentation of his new team. A “significant slowdown of the recovery program" for the 33-year-old caused him to delay the start of his season until the Four Days of Dunkirk last month. He finished 20th overall in the six-stage race, but he hasn’t raced since.

Team doctor Carlo Guardascione explained Haussler’s most recent procedure: “Ten days ago, in Orthopedic Klinik of Basel, a second arthroscopic treatment was necessary for reduce an important hypertrophic Hoffa’s fat body that created impingement inside the left knee. Surgery treatment was excellent and the first check done yesterday shows a dry knee and a good performance about movements and stability.”

Navardauskas, meanwhile, has at least a month off the bike before he can begin riding again after tests discovered the cardiac anomaly.

“As a result of extensive cardiac examinations of level 2 carried out at the National Olympic Center in Lithuania, the presence of a cardiac arrhythmia requires a period of rest and de-training of at least one month, after that a further cardiological check-up will definitively clarify the evolution of the cardiac anomaly found,” Guardascione said.

Navardauskas missed the Giro d’Italia with reported gastroenteritis, but he returned earlier this month to compete in the Criterium du Dauphine, where he abandoned on the final day. In Saturday’s announcement, Navardauskas said he feels OK and misses racing.

“So far I am resting at home in Lithuania and waiting for what doctors will tell me to do,” he said. “I hope it is just overtired after last two seasons and that I will be back on the bike soon.”

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