New Geox-TMC signing Daniele Colli has revealed that he is to undergo surgery for a benign tumour on his left knee. Colli was unable to travel to the Geox-TMC training camp in Spain on Tuesday as he continues his recovery.
Colli first experienced pain in his knee during Paris-Brussels, his final race in Ceramica Flaminia colours. After the knee problems persisted, Colli underwent an MRI scan in Milan in early November, where he was informed that he had a tumour on his knee. The Italian then endured a nervous few weeks as he awaited results of a biopsy.
“I closed in on myself and I only shared my desperation with a few people,” Colli told Tuttobiciweb. “I went through three weeks of hell, with my parents, my fiancée Silvia and my sister Alessia.
“I felt like a man shipwrecked in the ocean. I didn’t say it, I struggled even just to think about it, but in the best of scenarios I already saw myself losing a leg.”
Finally, after three weeks of purgatory, Colli was informed that the tumour was benign. “In that moment I felt myself reborn,” he said. “I became more appreciative of life. Nothing is for certain.”
Colli will now undergo surgery to remove the tumour. “They will have to operate on me to remove the tumour and then they will rebuild my knee,” he expained. “They told me that being a cyclist was an advantage because we’re used to fighting, to getting over even the steepest hills: now the descent is beginning for me.”
Colli was also quick to praise his new team Geox-TMC and manager Mauro Gianetti for their support in recent weeks.
“Mauro has been really kind to me,” Colli said. “He came to visit me and he even invited me to the first gathering of the team. In truth, I tried to go, but as soon as I got on the plane I didn’t feel well. I’m still too weak, I need to give it time.”
Gianetti agreed that Colli will need time to recuperate and pledged Geox-TMC’s support to the rider’s rehabilitation.
“We knew of his situation and were always at his side, but it was obviously something personal that had to be made public by him, logically,” Gianetti said. “The most important thing now is that he gets over this calmly because everybody on the team will be giving him all the time he needs.”
Team Geox-TMC is currently in Hoznayo, Spain for a four-day training camp, the first step in its formal preparations for the 2011 season.
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Barry Ryan is European Editor at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation (opens in new tab), published by Gill Books.
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