Frank Schleck sidelined after training crash

Seven stitches needed, fractures not ruled out

Saxo Bank's Frank Schleck has been sidelined with several injuries from a training ride crash, compromising the Luxembourg ace's chances of being in prime condition for April's spring classics.

Schleck, the older brother of Tour de France white jersey winner Andy, skidded with his front wheels during a training ride and crashed in a curve going downhill, according to a team statement.

It added: "Seven stitches on the chin and a heavy contusion on his left wrist was the immediate damage, but further examinations were needed yesterday afternoon at a clinic in Luxembourg to rule out any fractures."

Schleck, who would normally be aiming to be fit for one-day classics such as the Amstel Gold Race and Liege-Bastogne-Liege, is now scheduled to return to action at the two-day Criterium International in France at the end of March.

"This doesn't come at a convenient time, since I'm in really good shape after Paris-Nice and I hope to get back into racing as soon as possible," said Schleck.

Schleck was part of the CSC team that helped Spaniard Carlos Sastre claim the Tour de France yellow jersey last year.

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