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Lack of helmet led to Kessler's skull fracture

Matthias Kessler (Astana) up the Mur.

Matthias Kessler (Astana) up the Mur. (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)

Matthias Kessler was not wearing a helmet when he crashed earlier this week on Majorca. The German has been placed in an induced coma, but the outlook for his recovery is better now.

His father Karlheinz and brother Andreas have flown to Majorca. Karlheinz Kessler confirmed that his son was not wearing a helmet when he swerved to avoid a cat and crashed head-first into a wall, suffering a fractured skull.

The 30-year-old underwent surgery to have blood clots removed and was subsequently placed in an induced coma to facilitate recovery. "The doctors are confident that he will recover," said the father to the Nürnrberger Nachrichten newspaper.

Spanish sources say that Kessler is still in critical condition.

Kessler served a two-year suspension for doping, and hoped to return to the peloton. "He was planning to come back to the sport again," Karlheinz Kessler said. He had not signed a contract for the current season but was said to have a verbal agreement with several teams.