Robert Power's career with Orica-GreenEdge on hold due to rare bone marrow disease

Robert Power's professional career with the Orica-GreenEdge team has been put on hold after doctors discovered the talented young Australian rider has a rare form of bone marrow edema.

Power secured a place in Orica-GreenEdge’s roster for 2016 after a series of impressive results in Europe, despite only being 20. He won the prestigious Giro Valle Aosta stage race and took a string of other victories in Italy. He was second in the 2014 Tour de l'Avenir.

He missed this year's edition of the French stage race after a knee injury brought an end to his season in late July. He was confident he had recovered in a recent interview with Cyclingnews, but further pain and a series of scans and blood tests during a recent visit to the Australia Institute of Sport (AIS) revealed the condition had actually worsened.

According to Orica-GreenEdge medical director Dr Peter Barnes, Power could be forced to rest for between four months and two years but should eventually make a full recovery.

"There's no treatment. The one thing we do know about it is that it will eventually come good, but obviously the question everyone will ask is 'when?' and we've got no idea. The literature says it's anywhere between four and 24 months," Dr Barnes told the Herald Sun newspaper in Australia.

"I've been in sports medicine for more than 40 years and I've never seen this. It's in the books and the fine print, but it's one of those things you'd never get asked about in an exam because it's so rare.

"On an MRI scan it's similar to a bone bruise, but it's not related to trauma or even cycling necessarily. We don't know what's caused it. He gets pain in his knee when he's climbing or doing strength endurance stuff. Other than that he gets no pain at all, which is the frustrating thing. He can walk, jump, hop and he doesn't feel a thing."

Power is from Perth and so will be closely monitored by the Western Australian Institute of Sport.

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