Nibali to undergo vertebrae surgery after Tour de France crash

The Bahrain-Merida team have announced that Vincenzo Nibali will undergo percutaneous vertebroplasty surgery on the T10 vertebrae he fractured during stage 12 of the Tour de France to L’Alpe d’Huez.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Italian hopes the surgery will help reduce his back pain and so allow Nibali to start training within a week. The Vuelta a Espana starts on Saturday August 25 and is consider vital if Nibali is to lead the Italian team at the world road race championships in Innsbruck at the end of September.

Percutaneous vertebroplasty surgery involves injecting a special bone cement into the fractured vertebrae, with the goal of creating an internal cast to stablise the bone and so ease any pain.

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“After consultations of the Team Bahrain-Merida medical staff with various specialists and after an attentive and careful examination of the athlete’s clinical condition and future perspectives, the team and the rider agreed to the decision to have a percutaneous vertebroplasty surgery. The procedure is going to take place on next week in Italy,” Bahrain-Merida team doctor Emilio Magni confirmed in a brief statement from the team.

Nibali is currently recovering at home in Lugano, Switzerland. He has been wearing a special corset when standing and working in a swimming pool to try to ease the pain in his back.

A spectator’s camera strap has been blamed for sparking Nibali’s crash as he chased after Chris Froome four kilometres from the finish at L’Alpe d’Huez. Social media videos captured the moment of the incident and showed how fans and police motorbikes invaded the road, with flare smoke greatly reducing visibility.

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