Laurens De Plus has fractured his pelvis and his sacrum following a training crash in South Africa last week, the Quick-Step Floors team has confirmed. The Belgian team is attempting to bring De Plus back to Europe but he will need to lie down during the flight due to his injuries, making the process somewhat harder.
The team added that De Plus will have to miss his scheduled start to the season due to his injuries.
De Plus was training with his teammates Bob Jungels and Petr Vakoc when they were hit from behind by a passing lorry. Jungels escaped any injury but Vakoc was diagnosed with broken vertebrae and underwent surgery on Friday. He will have to remain in hospital until at least the end of this week.
De Plus was initially cleared of any serious injuries with Quick-Step Floors previously stating his injuries as "multiple abrasions and a minor pulmonary and kidney contusion." However, further tests on Monday revealed that his injuries were more extensive than previously thought.
"The exams revealed a non-displaced fracture to the acetabulum on the right side of his pelvis and a microfracture to his sacrum. De Plus will have to undergo conservative therapy and he will need at least three weeks of recovery before resuming training,” the team said.
This is the second time in three months that De Plus has suffered a fracture. He crashed on the descent of the Sormano during Il Lombardia last October, going off the road and into a ravine. He fractured his kneecap in that incident and had to spend several weeks off the bike.
Following the South Africa crash, Jungels posted an emotional video message on YouTube, pleading for all road users to share the road and try to avoid a situation like that. He described the scene after the truck caused his two teammates to crash, “From one moment to the other, you can have a laugh with your best buddy and the next second, you’re running around screaming, you don’t know what to do and asking for help and shouting. Afterwards, you have him in your arms and you don't know if he's ever going to be able to perform cycling again, walk again or whatever."
Jungels, who is still training in South Africa, bought both of his teammates bracelets and posted a picture of his with the hashtag #brothersinarms.