BMC Racing Team’s Alessandro Ballan was resting comfortably Saturday after undergoing successful surgeries to remove his spleen and repair a double fracture of his left femur. The injuries were the result of a high-speed crash Thursday during a team training ride near Parcent, Spain.
BMC Racing Team Chief Medical Officer Dr. Max Testa said the surgery to fix Ballan’s displaced fracture went very well late Thursday night and into Friday morning. In addition to breaking his leg, the 2008 world road champion fractured a rib and suffered abdominal trauma, including a ruptured spleen. “When the doctors realized he would have to stay in the hospital longer because of his abdominal injuries, they decided to take care of his femur at the same time since he was already sedated,” Testa said. “The orthopedic surgeon said he was very pleased with how the bones lined up and the doctors are cautiously optimistic that he’ll make a full recovery with no complications.” Testa thanked the staff of Hospital Dnia Marina Salud, where Ballan is expected to remain for at least a few more days. “They’ve been doing a great job of monitoring him closely and going to great lengths to make sure he is receiving good care,” he said.
Ballan has been in the company of his wife, Daniela, since early Friday morning and attended to by BMC Racing Team Dr. Dario Spinelli since the accident occurred. From his hospital bed Saturday, Ballan said he has been appreciative of all the emails, Tweets and posts to the BMC Racing Team Facebook page he has received. “I have been moved by all the messages of support I have received,” he said. “It lifts my spirits to know there are so many people all over the world who are wishing me well for a fast recovery. Thank you to everyone.”
BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz said riders, management and staff have been deeply affected by Ballan’s crash, which occurred on the penultimate day of training camp. “We don’t know how long Alessandro will be out of competition, but I’m confident our other riders will dig a little deeper to make up for his absence,” Ochowicz said. “What’s been nice to see is how everyone has stepped up from the moment this happened, especially Dr. Spinelli, who is giving up his holidays.” Ballan had been scheduled to begin his season at the Santos Tour Down Under in Australia but no decision has been made on who will replace him for that race.