It is just two months since the collision with a bus that left Egan Bernal fighting for his life but already he is back to riding on the road.
The Colombian took to social media to celebrate the recovery landmark, with the Ineos Grenadiers rider pictured taking to the road on scenic hills in the Colombian countryside, with his ride companions including brother Ronald, and teammate and friend Brandon Rivera, who has also recently returned from injury after suffering a fractured and dislocated elbow, and dislocated AC joint just days after Bernal’s crash.
“The happiest day of my life,” said Bernal on Instagram. “After 2 months and 20 broken bones, here I am, and I want more!”
Bernal suffered fractured vertebrae, a fractured right femur, a fractured right patella, chest trauma, a punctured lung and several fractured ribs, according to an Ineos Grenadiers medical update after the crash. He was treated at the Clínica Universidad de La Sabana, with the hospital update outlining complex spinal surgery, surgeries to correct fractures to his knee, femur, metacarpal in his right hand and to address dentoalveolar fractures in his mouth.
The injuries occurred on January 24 when Bernal rode into the bus at close to 65kph while on his time trial bike, with the rider disclosing that it was suggested there was a 95 per cent chance of paraplegia.
However, a stream of updates on social media has documented his rapid recovery with the 25 year old taking first steps less than three weeks after the collision and then shifting from a laid back exercise bike to an upright one on set up on an indoor trainer. He has also been working on his rehabilitation in the pool.
Earlier this month his coach Xabier Artexte told La Gazzetta dello Sport, that Bernal was motivated and had an incredible desire to return. “He is working to get back as soon as possible. It could be 2023 but also the end of this year. We must not rule it out, far from it."
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