A hand injury suffered in a training crash in April may spell the end of Bobbie Traksel's career. The Landbouwkrediet rider has gone through surgery and numerous tests and hospital visits, but to no avail.
Due to nerve damage, “my hand feels dead, and the doctors wonder if the feeling will ever return,” he told De Telegraaf.
Traksel crashed while training in April. He landed on both arms, but fractured his left hand. One nerve was so badly damaged that it died.
Another hospital visit this week gave him some hope, but only in the far future. Some feeling is returning to the hand, and tests showed that the dead nerve is regenerating, but very slowly.
The dead nerve is growing again at the rate of one millimetre a day. “I was startled. I did not believe it. That means 150 days in which I can't do anything. One millimetre per day. That is a frustrating speed for a cyclist.”
“You simply can't do anything with a dead hand,” he said. “Cycling is not an option. I cannot brake, can't shift, can't hold my wheel. Today I'll go buy running shoes because I have to do something to try to keep in shape."
Traksel at least knows that his team is sticking to him. "I'm lucky: Gerard Bulens, the boss at Landbouwkrediet, has strongly committed to me. "You just make sure that the hand is better again, because you still need it after cycling," he told me last week."