Chris Froome has insisted he is ‘on the road to recovery’ following his horror crash which saw him lose four pints of blood and required six-hours of surgery, and has admitted he feels lucky to be alive today.
The 34-year-old has posted his first update from his hospital bed, after recovering from intensive care.
Froome suffered the horror crash at the Criterium du Dauphine this week, and is facing a minimum of six months on the sidelines after crashing into a wall at 40mph while trying to blow his nose, breaking his leg, elbow and ribs.
It has now been revealed that the four-time Tour de France winner lost a lot of blood during a post-crash surgery, which is the reason he was then put into intensive care.
Chris Froome has insisted he is ‘on the road to recovery’ following his horror crash
Chris Froome was injured during a crash ahead of stage four of the Criterium du Dauphine
Medical staff transport Froome on a stretcher to the Centre Hospitalier in Roanne, France
Issuing a statement of thanks, Froome wrote: ‘Firstly, I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has sent their best wishes to me since the crash.
‘This is obviously a tough time but I have taken a lot of strength from the support over the last three days. The outpouring of support has been really humbling and something I would never have expected.
‘I’d also like to extend my gratitude to the team, especially Doctor Richard Usher and his medical staff, who have been exemplary since the crash.
‘I know how lucky I am to be here today and how much I owe to all the paramedics and medical staff on the race.’
‘The intensive care? That was a precautionary measure due to the length of the surgery and considering that the patient had lost a lot of blood, more or less two litres,’ orthopaedic surgeon Giorgio Gresta told Italian newspapers this week. ‘He’s not facing any specific risk and its important he’s calm and relaxed.
‘He’ll be transferred to a normal care unit as soon as possible. His recovery time depends on his desire to fight back but he seems very motivated. He could just need six months to be back stronger than before.’
The Telegraph are also reporting further fractures to Froome’s sternum and C7 vertebra – ‘the lowest vertebra in the neck region’ – but these are said to be less concerning than his internal damage.
Froome, pictured on Monday, lost four pints of blood during surgery after his horror crash
Froome is expected to be moved to a rehab facility next week when he is brought out of intensive care, but as it stands the 34-year-old remains in a serious but stable condition.
Further explaining the aftermath of the crash, surgeon Gresta added: ‘He was conscious and reactive, when my colleague, Remi Philippot, and I explained what he had and what we would do.
‘He was optimistic despite his injuries not being simple. He seemed determined to ride again and return to racing. And from a medical point of view there won’t be a problem: he can recover from all his injuries.
‘We’re at the avant-garde [in recuperation techniques] at Saint-Etienne [hospital]. A number of athletes have come to us to recover from injuries. Froome was unlucky with his crash but he was lucky to be close to us.’