Chris Froome undergoes surgery to remove metal from hip and elbow

Chris Froome will soon be able to train properly again (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Chris Froome underwent surgery on Friday to remove a metal plate in his hip and screws in his elbow, commenting that the procedure went 'perfectly'. 

The four-time Tour de France winner was fitted with the implants five months ago after he fractured his hip, elbow, femur, sternum, and vertebrae in a warm-up crash at the Critérium du Dauphiné in June. 

A metal rod will remain in the lower part of his femur for the rest of his life, but the plate stabilising his right hip and the screws securing his right elbow were always due to be removed in early November. 

The operation took place on Friday morning at the University Hospital of Saint-Etienne in Froome's adopted home country of France. 

"Less some hardware from my hip and elbow," Froome wrote on social media alongside a picture of him in his hospital bed. "Feeling groggy but all went perfectly."

The operation represents a significant step in Froome's recovery and rehabilitation from the Dauphiné crash. He has been riding his bike, appearing in a 3km time trial exhibition at the recent Saitama Criterium, where he told Cyclingnews there's no guarantee he will return to his former level. 

In Japan, Froome was able to ride but still walked with a pronounced limp. He explained that the hip plate was trapping tendons and causing him pain, and was hopeful he'd be able to walk normally once it was removed. The femur fracture, he said, had healed 'amazingly'. 

Froome has made it his ambition to ride the 2020 Tour de France in a bid to claim a record-equalling fifth title, with the Olympic Games road race in Toyko later in July also a target.

"I will need a few weeks off post-surgery, but hopefully I'll be able to train normally again in December, and hopefully things continue from there. I hope to be back racing by February, at least, and I'll just take it from there, really," Froome told Cyclingnews in Japan. 

"There are no guarantees in sport – and in life in general – with this kind of process, but if I'm back racing by February... I don't know what level that would be, but I'd hope that within four months I could get back to racing the Tour de France as my normal self. That's my goal and, until I find any reason to believe it's not possible, I'm making it my objective."

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