Lopez de Munain recovering

By Martin Hardie

The news on the state of health of Euskaltel's Alberto Lopez de Munain who suffered that terrible crash on stage two of the Giro is that he is coming along "much better, very much better". Our colleague Unai Larrea of the Basque daily DEIA spoke by telephone to team manager Miguel Madariaga who is still camped by Alberto's bedside in the intensive care unit to which he was admitted earlier this week. Loaded into our direct orange line, Madariaga's comments display a much happier tone than they did earlier this week.

"Everything is going well. The doctors are saying that the only worry now is the chance of an infection in the lung, but it doesn't seem likely," Madariaga told Larrea. "The truth is he doesn't have an inch of his body without wounds from his face down to his ankle." Yesterday Lopez de Munain and Madariaga passed time together watching the Giro at the invitation of another patient and talked together about his cycling career. Madariaga reports that Alberto is cheering up but that when the subject turns to his future on the bike "he changes the subject... he just doesn't want to talk about that. You have to realise that the damage is enormous and also still very recent."

Yesterday the drainage tube that had been inserted in Alberto's lung was removed and today he might be moved from intensive care and into observation where he will stay at least a few more days. Madariaga in the meantime is making arrangements with the hop of the pair being able to return home this coming weekend. The plan is for them to fly via Rome to the Basque capital of Vitoria-Gasteiz where Alberto will enter hospital again to have operations on his collar bone and possibly shoulder blade. The final word from Madariaga was that "I am happy! Every time I recall what happened and how I found Alberto I am more certain that we have saved a life."

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