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Emergency surgery for Ballan

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Alessandro Ballan going back to the team cars.

Alessandro Ballan going back to the team cars.
(Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Alessandro Ballan (BMC) crashed and then quit the race

Alessandro Ballan (BMC) crashed and then quit the race
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Alessandro Ballan (BMC) crashed out of the race

Alessandro Ballan (BMC) crashed out of the race
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Alessandro Ballan (BMC) celebrates winning stage 7 at the 2012 Eneco Tour

Alessandro Ballan (BMC) celebrates winning stage 7 at the 2012 Eneco Tour
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Alessandro Ballan (Team BMC) was taken to hospital for further surgery following his crash in December. The Italian complained of stomach pain and later had his appendix and scar tissue from his previous operation removed.

The BMC Racing Team rider crashed at speed on December 20, fracturing his left femur and a rib, and suffering some abdominal trauma that led doctors to remove his spleen. He spent nine days in intensive care in Spain and a further 10 days in hospital in Spain.

The Italian had admitted in a previous interview that he would miss the majority of the season, however BMC’s doctor Max Testa believes that the rider could return within four months.

In a statement released by the team, Ballan said: "Because the pain wasn't that intense and continuous I thought it was a digestive problem."

"On Wednesday night, the pain became very intense so I went to the hospital."

Doctors then performed exploratory surgery which found adhesions had formed where Ballan's spleen was removed in December.

"The surgery to remove the adhesions and his appendix was very successful and he is doing well," Dr. Testa said. "I do not think this will impact the original timetable we had for him to return to racing in four months. But he will stay off the stationary bike for a couple weeks."