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Damiano Cunego hospitalised after contracting brain ventricle infection

Daimano Cunego in the final year of his career
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Damiano Cunego has revealed he is currently in hospital in Verona after being diagnosed with infection in the cerebral ventricle. 

Cunego, the winner of the 2004 Giro d’Italia and three editions of Il Lombardia, said he will need several weeks of treatment to fully recover from the infection but said he hopes to be back on the bike soon.

The brain ventricles are a network of cavities filled with cerebrospinal fluid located within the central brain area. Cerebrospinal fluid functions include protection of the brain acting as a cushion that lessens the impact of a blow. CSF also serves as a medium to transport hormones to other areas of the brain.

Cunego wrote bout his condition in an Instagram post on Monday as he enjoyed breakfast in hospital. 

"After a long week in hospital I decided to post my first smiling photo. I had an infection in the cerebral ventricle that at the moment stopped me from my activities."

"The magnificent Staff of Verona neurosurgery and especially Doctor Soda are following me in the daily antibiotic therapy that I will have to do for 3/4 next weeks. Fortunately everything will be fine but I need a long period of therapy in hospital and return to the best Damiano ever."

"I will be back soon...in bike obviously."

Cunego was affectionately nicknamed the "Little Prince' after his victory in the 2004 Giro d'Italia aged just 22. He rode for Saeco, Lampre-Merida and Nippo-Vini Fantini. He won the Amstel Gold Race in 2008 and was second in the Road World Championships in Varese, Italy behind fellow Italian Alessandro Ballan.   

Since retiring in 2018, Cunego has developed a coaching and consulting business.