The evolution of the Colombian cyclist Egan Bernal surprises more every day. 94 days after the accident, the Ineos team rider is in good condition and has overcome the serious injuries he suffered on January 24.
Doctor Gustavo Uriza, the spine surgeon and who has treated him since the moment of the accident when he crashed into a bus stopped next to the Bogotá-Tunja road, he revealed the progress of the cyclist’s recovery and even dared to give a date for his return to competition.
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“A first for us. We did check scans of Egan’s spine. I want to tell you that the odontoid fracture is completely consolidated and how it was done with a transodontoid screw, then there is no attack of the craniocervical junction; that is to say, he is cured of the fracture”, the doctor said during a National Academy of Medicine virtual conference.
And he adds: “From the T5 T6 dislocation, the scanner shows a consolidation of the fracture, bone callus in front where it was dislocated, I put a box to give it space between the two vertebrae. There’s a big bony callus. And the joints of the vertebrae above and below the fracture are preserved, function well, and all fractures of the rib, the ribs, are healed with bone calluses”.
The doctor, who explained step by step from the moment he was informed of the cyclist’s accident by the staff of the La Sabana University Clinic, pointed out that from day 120 of the accident (24 May), he can resume racing.
“I think Egan can squeeze in, accelerate off the pedals and start running in good shape. Their coaches in Europe have already given the green light, but that’s my news.”
Bernal has confirmed that he will travel to Europe today. He will be in Monaco and alongside his father, Germán Bernal, He will continue his training, but he has not hinted that he will soon return to competition.
The 25-year-old cyclist asked British team Ineos for permission to travel to Europe after presenting EB Project, his new project, with which he seeks to help the young figures of Colombian cycling.
“I want to get a number now. I’m going to cycle. My dad will be on the bike, he will accompany me. I am that I run; For me, I would now,” he said.
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However, Uriza told him not to compete this year but Egan Bernal warned it was a serious issue and he was ‘discussing’ it with the doctor.
The current Giro d’Italia champion has enjoyed an accelerated recovery. He was only hospitalized for 13 days at the clinic, which he left on February 6, after overcoming five operations.
The technician spoke
The information given by Doctor Uriza is very important, because the world of cycling, especially in Colombia, is still waiting for Bernal’s development and his return to international competitions. His teammates also hope it will happen soon.
Same, Daniel Martínez, recent winner of the Tour of the Basque Country, also of Ineos and the most important Colombian cyclist so far in the international seasonhoped that the return of the 2019 Tour de France champion would be soon:
“It would be nice to see him in the Tour of Spain. The truth is that his recovery has been admirable.” noted yesterday.
EL TIEMPO contacted Darío Cioni, one of the technical staff of the Ineos group, who confirmed that he had no confirmation of the possible return of the Colombian to the roads. “Technically we don’t know that Egan Bernal is going to compete at the end of May,” Cioni said.
The technician was surprised when asked about this. “He should arrive in these days at our headquarters in Monaco. There he will be assessed by team personnel and details of his clinical condition can be known,” added the adviser.
What was known was that once valued by the medical part of the British team structure in Europe, Bernal will continue rehabilitation in a specialized center in France.
The cyclist, on the other hand, knows that he must go step by step, without going crazy. When asked what he will look like in a year, he made it clear that he is unpredictable how his form will be and what he imagines is running: “Yes, I see myself running, at least, one of the big three (Giro d’Italia, Tour de France or Vuelta a España). Sure, I look fully recovered and I hope I’m not in pain. It’s complicated, because you have to work hard to strengthen your body,” he said.
Egan noted that it would be ideal to become a competitive cyclist again, but what his future performance will be is unpredictable: “I don’t know if I’m going to get back to the level I was before to be able to win one of these big races. At least I think and I want to try to be a gregarious, to help and to be able to be at that level”, counted.
However, it is unlikely, if not impossible, that he will show up soon. Bernal is still recovering, he walks leaning on a cane and although he has improved, his physical condition is not ideal.
The cyclist goes out to ride a bike, it has been seen, but he does not practice thoroughly, they are not demanding, it is not “the apocalypse”, as he himself called the long sessions of coaching, five, six hours or more, you can’t do them now.
His physical condition is not good. To return to competition you have to be almost one hundred percent, but Bernal skipped a step, he is not in good shape.
Ineos cannot afford to “rehearse” with him either. It’s one of the best teams in the world and you can’t put your athlete’s health at risk, you can’t risk what you’ve won.
Bernal received a medical discharge, he can run from May 24, but One thing is that he is fit for it and another is that his condition is ideal to return to racing.
Even he himself did not dare to say that he would return to the competition on the dates which are said, he did not say it. He notices that he wants to do it now, but he knows he can’t, he has to wait a little longer. He sees himself in a distant time in a trial and he doesn’t know how he will get there either.
Cioni, after consulting this editorial house, does not have it in the accounts either. If so, your answer would surely have been different. The technical part knows its real state, which is why it is not even according to its plans that it will hit the road again.
Surely what happens is very good, that his rehabilitation succeeds, goes quickly and well, but one thing is that his injuries have been overcome and another that he is fit to ride the bike and fit in a lot.
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