The Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix winner posted the first photos of himself since the accident, revealing signs of a cut on his lip, with his left hand covered in bandages after undergoing surgery to reattach the tip of his index finger.
Giant-Alpecin has said it will be extremely difficult to predict how long Degenkolb will need to make a recovery but the Spanish surgeon who operated on his finger has predicted he will be out of action for three months as his injuries heal, ruling him out of any kind of spring campaign.
Degenkolb posted two photos of himself as he travelled to Germany, giving a thumbs up despite the difficult moment. He thanked everyone for the message of support he has received since Saturday’s accident.
“Thank you to the emergency services and the doctors in Valencia who helped me. And, above all, thanks to my family, my friends and the thousands of messages from fans. You give me strength. Thank you very much.”
Six riders from the Giant-Alpecin team were involved in the crash on Saturday when a vehicle driven by a British women hit the riders during a training ride.
Degenkolb, Max Walscheld, Chad Haga, Fredrik Ludvigsson, Ramon Sinkeldam and Warren Barguil were all taken to hospital, with Haga was airlifted to hospital. The American suffered neck, facial injuries and an orbital fracture.
Degenkolb injured his thigh and suffered a serious hand injury with surgeons reattaching the tip of his finger. Barguil suffered a fractured scaphoid, while Walscheid fractured his hand and tibia. Ludvigsson and Sinkeldam escaped with multiple scratches and bruises.
The Giant-Alpecin team has told Cyclingnews that they may be forced to skip races over the coming months after the injuries to six of its 27 riders.
“We know that we will be set back for some months with the team in terms of sport but that’s the second priority," he said, pointing to the fact that his first concern was for the health of his riders,” team manager Iwan Spekenbrink told Cyclingnews.
“In the coming days we’ll start working on re-planning things but it will take some time before we’re at our full strength again. We have a strong spirit and we’ll get out of this stronger.”