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Valverde heads home to Spain after successful surgery

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Alejandro Valverde stretches his legs at the Critérium du Dauphiné

Alejandro Valverde stretches his legs at the Critérium du Dauphiné
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alejandro Valverde back on his feet after breaking his kneecap

Alejandro Valverde back on his feet after breaking his kneecap
(Image credit: Alejandro Valverde)
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Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) before crashing out of the Tour

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) before crashing out of the Tour
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The Spanish National Championships Road Race was the last race for Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) before the Tour de France. The rider was key for the victory of his teammate Jesús Herrada

The Spanish National Championships Road Race was the last race for Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) before the Tour de France. The rider was key for the victory of his teammate Jesús Herrada
(Image credit: Alberto Brevers)
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Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

Alejandro Valverde has left the hospital and returned home to Spain following surgery on his left knee, according to a press release from the Movistar team.

Valverde broke his kneecap and his talus bone, in addition to suffering a deep gash in his leg in a crash in the opening time trial of the Tour de France. The injuries sustained in the fall forced the 37-year-old to abandon the race.

Having successfully completed surgery five days ago, Valverde has finally left Düsseldorf and headed home to Murcia in southeastern Spain to continue his recovery.

"Everything's going on the right track," he said via the release. "The most important thing at this point is to take slow but safe steps. It's going to be a long process, and we must remain calm and confident. The doctors, though, seem really satisfied about how everything has evolved so far - and that makes me happy."

Valverde is at this point capable of walking with crutches and can bend his knee slightly, though he'll likely not race again this season.