Michael Matthews will miss Saturday's Strade Bianche after tests showed that he had fractured a bone in his left shoulder in a crash at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Team Sunweb confirmed on Wednesday that the Australian would have to skip Saturday's race in Italy and said that he could be out for even longer.
Matthews crashed on a corner during Saturday's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, as the peloton approached the key climbs of the day. He was able to finish and it appeared that he had suffered little more than superficial cuts. However, upon returning to his European home, Matthews had further tests, which revealed the fractures. Thankfully for Matthews, he will not have to go under the knife.
"The diagnosis from the MRI scan is a non-displaced fracture of the greater tuberosity of the left upper arm," said Team Sunweb doctor Anko Boelens. “Because the fragment is not displaced, surgery, in this case, is not required. Michael will need to take some rest and afterwards undergo physiotherapy before restarting training on the rollers."
Following Strade Bianche, Matthews was set to ride Tirreno-Adriatico, but that and several other races could be under threat. Matthews is due to ride Milan-San Remo next month, where he hopes to improve on his third place from 2015, before returning to Belgium for the cobbled Classics.
"Much is dependent on improvement over the next days, but at the moment we can certainly say that Strade Bianche on Saturday is not possible," explained Boelens.
"The healing process and Michael's pain levels will determine when he can return to the bike. After the weekend we will re-evaluate for his upcoming races and see if Tirreno is realistic."
Lennard Hofstede will replace Matthews in Team Sunweb's Strade Bianche line-up.