Kirchen out of the hospital

Kim Kirchen (Katusha)

Kim Kirchen (Katusha) (Image credit: Daniel Benson)

Kim Kirchen has come out of the Luxemburg hospital where he was under observation since he suffered a heart attack during the Tour de Suisse two and half weeks ago.

He was initially placed in a medically induced coma in a Zurich hospital before being transferred to his own country. Today the doctors gave him the green light to home, but he instead went straight to the other hospital where his wife Caroline gave birth to their twins. The baby boys have been named Mika and Liam.

"I'm very happy," said Kirchen. "I got out of the hospital, and I was able to stay close to my wife when my children were born."

Kirchen gave an update on his own health. "I feel better now, I'm walking and I can do everything normally. The doctors don't understand what's happened. They're still studying it."

At the start of stage 5 in Epernay, Katusha's press officer Andrea Agostoni told Cyclingnews that thrombosis and cardiac arrhythmia were excluded from Kirchen's diagnosis, but the cause of his problems still remain a mystery. "The doctors will use DNA to check if this is a genetic problem, which is probably the case as his grandfather and another family member had similar incidents," Agostoni said.

Kirchen's future has yet to be determined in discussion with the management of Katusha. He has another year on his contract but his career is possibly over.

Kirchen was also the first person to visit Fränk Schleck yesterday after his compatriot from Saxo Bank's collarbone surgery. Schleck was in the same hospital as Kirchen's wife following his crash on the cobblestones on stage 3.

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