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by Shane Stokes
October 17, 2017
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Following surgery to help stabilize the spinal fractures he suffered in the recent Il Lombardia Classic, Jan Bakelants has said that he will not require a further intervention by surgeons. “2 days after surgery, it looks good, no extra intervention necessary,” he said via Twitter on Monday. “The road to recovery will be long, but I feel lucky I can start it.”
His Ag2r la Mondiale team subsequently issued a statement describing the operation carried out by Professor Bart Depreitere as a success. It said that he left the intensive care unit on Monday, October 16th, and will be able to return to his home at the end of this week. “It is much too early to begin discussing the date on which he can resume his sports activities,” it added.
Bakelants suffered what could have been a fatal crash into a ravine during the Italian race, falling on the descent of the Muro di Sormano. He fractured seven ribs, two dorsal vertebrae (D8, D10) and two lumbar vertebrae (L1 and L3).
Last Thursday his team said that he had been transferred to Gasthuisberg Hospital in Leuven, Belgium. “Jan must undergo an emergency operation in Belgium to stabilize the fractures of the L3 vertebra,” it said then. “On account of a hemothorax [a collection of blood in the space between the chest wall and the lung], among other things, it was unfortunately impossible to transfer him to Belgium in the days immediately following the crash.”
The 31 year old Belgian won a stage and wore the yellow jersey in the 2013 Tour de France. He also won the Giro del Piemonte and the Giro dell’Emilia in 2015.