Van der Poel undergoes knee surgery while recovering from a back injury
Mathieu van der Poel, currently out of action with a back injury, has opted to undergo ‘minor surgery’ on his knee, according to his Alpecin-Fenix team.
Van der Poel, according to the team, suffered a tear on the inside of his knee from a previous accident and developed painless scar tissue but, as he was already off the bike, he opted out. to take off. The operation took place on January 8 and a subsequent examination by Van der Poel’s doctor, Toon Claes, was “positive”.
During his preparation for December’s race block, Van der Poel suffered a large gash in his knee which did not require stitches but took a long time to heal and forced him to delay his debut in the season. He didn’t ride a bike for a week before the Alpecin-Fenix team camp because of the injury and skipped the Rucphen World Cup on December 18.
Van der Poel took second place behind rival Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) in his first race of the season at the Dendermonde World Cup on December 26, but dropped out of the Superprestige at Heusden-Zolder the following day because of an injury return from the beginning of 2021 which had broken out.
The knee surgery was unrelated to his back, the team said. It is unclear when Van der Poel will be able to return to training and racing, but his team have said he will not return until he is completely pain free.
The 26-year-old was diagnosed with ‘swelling on an intervertebral disc’ in his back. He had been in pain since the start of the 2021 season, probably due to the demands of switching from his cyclo-cross bike after winning the World Championships in Ostend to the road, taking part in the Tour of the United Arab Emirates three weeks more late.
After an intense start to the season on the road, which included a UAE Tour stage victory before Alpecin-Fenix was forced to leave due to a positive COVID-19 within the team, the victory at Strade Bianche, two stage victories at Tirreno-Adriatico, and second in the Tour of Flanders, Van der Poel switched to mountain biking to take part in two World Cups before the Olympic Games. He then hit the road again, won a stage of the Tour de France and wore the yellow jersey for six days before leaving for Tokyo.
Van der Poel’s violent fall in the first round of the Olympics cross-country event did not affect his back, according to his team manager, but the pain forced him to delay his return to the sport. road race. He eventually regained his form and finished third in Paris-Roubaix.
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