Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) has said that he will do everything he can to stay in the Giro d'Italia despite being injured in a crash at the end of stage 6. The Giro d'Italia leader dislocated his shoulder twice in the space of a few minutes because of the crash, but says he will battle on.
His arm strapped and bandaged and in an immense white sling, Contador stepped out of a mobile X-ray unit near his hotel on Thursday evening to tell reporters that although no bones were broken in the crash, he will have to be extremely cautious. "I will have to cross my fingers it [the shoulder] doesn't come out [dislocate] again and I can handle the pain."
Talking briefly to the press, Contador said "In principle, there was a dislocation [of the shoulder] from when I fell. I got up, my shoulder was dislocated, and acting on instinct I popped it back in. I was scared because I thought I had broken my collarbone, which I have never broken in my life, then when we were at the foot of the podium it [the shoulder] came out again.
"From that point onwards, it hurt a lot and we wanted to take maximum precautions." That included Contador not putting on the leader's jersey and skipping the press conferences after the stage to head straight for his team hotel and a detailed medical check-up.
"To judge from the tests it seems like it was nothing more than it was dislocated and I have to be very careful to be sure it doesn't happen again, so now I've got to try to have a good night's rest and immobilize my shoulder at all times, and cross my fingers it doesn't come out [dislocate] again and I can handle the pain," Contador said.
Asked if he was feeling optimistic, Contador answered, "Optimistic? I'm going to do everything I can to stay here. I've been working a lot since last winter for this race and I want to continue in it. I will see tomorrow [Friday] if I can or can’t continue, but I hope so.
"We'll have some kind of protection [for the shoulder], first thing next [Friday] morning we'll put on some kind of bandage, to make sure it's as protected as it can be, but it won't be easy. We'll see."
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Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. Apart from working for Cyclingnews.com, he is also the cycling correspondent for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday.
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