Fuglsang out of Giro d'Italia with knee problems

Jakob Fuglsang will not be able to ride the Giro d'Italia 2012 due to knee problems. The RadioShack-Nissan rider did not start Friday's third stage of the Tour de Romandie because of the knee pain.

He has been diagnosed with an inflammation of the articular capsule and ligament of the left knee. He first noticed it two weeks ago at an altitude camp in Sierra Nevada, Spain.

"I am very disappointed," Fuglsang said. "The Giro was my big objective for this year. Yesterday I had so much pain in the last 40K, I was just miserable. At that point I realized that it might be the end of my Giro dream. Moreover I was already running behind my schedule after the scaphoid bone fracture in the Tour of Catalunya."

There is simply not enough time to clear up the problem before the start of the Giro on May 5, and the risks were too great, team doctor Andreas Gösele said. “With a quick and intensive therapy, Jakob would possibly be able to start at the Giro, but with how much risk? A good result would be out of the question and if he would have to drop out after ten stages, what would we have accomplished?"

“From a medical point of view, it is impossible to guarantee that he will be fine. It's never good to take an injured rider to the start of a Grand Tour, and neither is it good to take out the leader of a team during such an important race. We don't want to jeopardize his season and his career.”

Fuglsang was set to be RadioShack's captain in the Giro, which starts in his homeland of Denmark. "We would even have stayed in a hotel in the city where I grew up. My hand injury was already a setback. Now, with this on top, I can only agree with the doctors and not take any risk. I will look ahead. I am young and there will be other Grand Tours for me in the future."

Team manager Johan Bruyneel regretted the injury on behalf of both his rider and his team. “He invested a lot of time and even personal funds for altitude camps to be in his best shape at the start of the race. I'm really sorry for him, but it's unrealistic to bring him to the start and believe in a miracle. The Giro is a very important race for our team and now we need to study how we can alter our strategy for those three weeks."

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